MANILA, Philippines – Robert Bolick knocked in a clutch triple with 52 ticks left to play as the NorthPort Batang Pier survived Barangay Ginebra, 100-97, to secure a playoff berth at the end their 2019 PBA Philippine Cup regular season campaign on Wednesday, April 3, at the Araneta Coliseum.
With the win, the Batang Pier successfully secured the 7th seed in the playoffs and arranged a quarterfinals match against No. 2 Rain or Shine, leaving NLEX and Alaska to duke it out in a knockout match for the final postseason berth.
Ginebra still marches on to the next round despite the loss as the 3rd seed in a Manila Clasico showdown versus 6th seed Magnolia.
As he has shown time and again in his collegiate career, hotshot rookie Bolick came up clutch, scoring a game-high 24 points on a 4-of-8 shooting from downtown with 5 assists.
Sean Anthony was a beast on both ends as well, tallying 19 markers, 6 rebounds and 6 steals off the bench.
Although NorthPort held a six-point lead midway through the 4th quarter, Ginebra pumped out an 11-3 comeback, ending with a go-ahead jumper by Jervy Cruz, 94-92, with 3:17 left in regulation.
Cruz later gave Ginebra another lead off the 95-all deadlock, but Bolick responded with a huge go-ahead triple, 98-97, with 52 ticks left to play.
The Gin Kings had their chances down the stretch, but ultimately failed to deliver as Pringle sank the game-sealing free throws in the game’s dying seconds.
Sol Mercado tallied a 10-point, 11-assist double-double in the loss. Scottie Thompson scored 9 and grabbed a game-high 11 boards while Greg Slaughter had a team-high 14 points.
PBA Ironman LA Tenorio broke new ground with his 600th straight game, but only had 3 points and 4 assists in 20 minutes of action.
NorthPort 100 – Bolick 24, Anthony 19, Tautuaa 17, Guinto 14, Grey 9, Pringle 9, Taha 6, Flores 2, Elorde 0, Lanete 0, Sollano 0.
Ginebra 97 – Slaughter 14, Cruz 13, Mercado 10, Thompson 9, Aguilar J. 8, Dela Cruz 8, Ferrer 7, Devance 7, Caperal 4, Mariano 4, Teodoro 4, Tenorio 3, Chan 3, Aguilar R. 3, Caguioa 0.
Quarters: 22-21, 47-45, 77-72, 100-97.