MANILA, Philippines—NorthPort drew key performances primarily from Arvin Tolentino and import Prince Ibeh to bounce back from a harsh setback over the weekend with an 87-83 win over Blackwater in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tolentino scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter while Ibeh tied his highest scoring output in the league with 19 while adding 10 rebounds and two blocks as the Batang Pier redeemed themselves from a 117-93 loss to the TNT Tropang Giga last Saturday at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
“We played lethargic in the first half and we can’t play like that,” said coach Pido Jarencio in Filipino after NorthPort played catch up for most of the way before taking the lead in the latter part of the match.
Arwind Santos also played a crucial role in the victory with 14 points and 10 rebounds even as Robert Bolick played the facilitator role to produce 12 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists.
Santos made all of his four points in the payoff on a pair of jumpers that enabled NorthPort to win despite being down 74-66 in the same period.
His first came halfway into the fourth to put NorthPort ahead 80-79 while the other came barely a minute to go to extend the margin to three at 84-81.
Import Cameron Krutwig made 28 points and 17 rebounds, Troy Rosario produced 17 and Baser Amer added 16 but the Bossing fell to 2-3.
NORTHPORT 87 — Ibeh 19, Tolentino 15, Santos 14, Balanza 13, Bolick 12, Ferrer 7, Taha 3, Caperal 2, Chan 2, Salado 0, Sumang 0.
BLACKWATER 83 — Krutwig 28, Rosario 17, Amer 16, Ular 8, Ayonayon 7, Suerte 4, Taha 2, Banal 1, Ebona 0, McCarthy 0, Jackson 0.
Quarters: 16-22, 37-42, 64-68, 87-83.
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