MANILA, Philippines – At the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, NORTHPORT used the career performance of rookie William Navarro to defeat an all-Filipino Converge team, 112 to 97, and support its push for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.
Navarro led the third-quarter breakaway that helped the FiberXers secure the important victory over the team without Quincy Miller, dishing out new highs of 29 points, 17 rebounds, and nine assists.
While halting Converge’s seven-game winning streak, which dropped to 8 to 3, NorthPort extended its winning streak to three games and maintained its hold on fifth place overall at 6 to 5.
Following a night of celebration for Miller’s recent 30th birthday, the FiberXers made the decision to bench him when he missed team practice.
According to NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio, “We’re anticipating that they are a full force, but finally their import did not really matter. And it became beneficial. But with or without import, we are ready.”
Navarro scored 16 of his points in the third quarter alone, helping NorthPort increase its advantage from three points to 88-73 heading into the fourth.
Robert Bolick, the star player for the other Batang Pier, led the way with 26 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds in the victory.
With 1:37 remaining, import Prince Ibeh scored 19 points, including the free throw that increased their lead to a game-high 110-91. He also pulled down 15 rebounds and blocked eight shots, which was the second time this conference he had as many as eight.
Robert Bolick’s strong performance, which saw him score 26 points while also dishing out 10 assists and grabbing six rebounds, and Prince Ibeh’s strong performance, which saw him score 19 points, grab 15 rebounds, and block eight shots while playing opposite an American, were both crucial in the grand scheme of things.
Roi Sumang, age nine, and Arvin Tolentino, age fifteen, both performed in complementary roles.
It was a team effort, according to Jarencio. “Everyone was focused on defense and on attack, they shared the ball. Yun talaga ang game plan. Na-execute namin and we got the win. Now we have three in a row, and we have a chance to make the playoffs.”
Without Miller, who before this team-mandated absence averaged 30.7 points, 16.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and three blocks per game, Aljun Melecio (20) and Jeron Teng (14) carried the scoring load for Converge.
Jarencio stated, “Converge is a fighting squad. Lumalaban talaga sila up to the final minute so there’s no way you can relax.” “Kasama si Miller sa scouting report namin. Eventually hindi naglaro kahit naka-uniform.
In the fight for the coveted Top 2 seeding and twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs, the FiberXers were derailed from their winning ways and remained at No. 3, behind Bay Area (9 to 2) and Magnolia (8 to 2).
Arvin Tolentino contributed 15 points and seven rebounds after scoring 31 points earlier in the game, and four of the starters reached double figures in the victory.
On Sunday, November 27, at 6:45 p.m., NorthPort will play Barangay Ginebra in an effort to strengthen its quarter final bid. in the Pasig Philsports Arena.
Scores at the end of the match
NorthPort with 112 point for the win
Individual scores: Navarro 29, Bolick 26, Ibeh 19, Tolentino 15, Sumang 9, Balanza 7, Ferrer 4, Ayaay 2, Chan 1, Caperal 0, Calma 0
Converge with 97 points
Individual scores: Melecio had 10, Teng had 14, Ahanmisi had 11, Ilagan had 11, Tratter had 9, Stockton had 8, Arana had 8, Browne had 6, Racal had 6, Bulanadi had 2, and Ambohot 0
Scores per quarter
28 to 18, 52 to 49, 88 to 73, and 112 to 97