With Batang Pier being ranked sixth, the third-seeded Kings are cautious

Dec 8, 2022

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MANILA, Philippines – Only one team managed to get in the top two. In a successful last push during the eliminations, the other managed to secure sixth place.

Now that they are competing for a berth in the Final Four in a best-of-three matchup that gets underway at 5:45 p.m., the third-seeded Barangay Ginebra Kings and the sixth-ranked NorthPort Batang Pier are on equal footing. Wednesday in Pasig’s PhilSports Arena.

The Kings finished three full games ahead of the Batang Pier in the team standings after winning their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semi final match (122 to 105).

However, the Kings won’t make the error of becoming complacent, especially since head coach Tim Cone regards the Batang Pier as a deadly foe.

Cone mentioned the Batang Pier as a team that has performed admirably throughout the competition, and he expressed his concern for some former Kings who are eager to prove their worth.

We have eight former players on that squad, so they are well aware of what we are doing, therefore it is only normal for a player to be motivated when playing against his or her previous team, explained Cone.

Arvin Tolentino, who was included in the shipment Ginebra sent to NorthPort in exchange for Jamie Malonzo, led the Batang Pier in scoring in their Nov. 27 semifinal match with 24 points.

Kevin Ferrer, Jeff Chan, and Prince Caperal are among former Kings who are successful as Batang Pier.

Of course, the Kings also employ players who are familiar with Pido Jarencio’s coaching style and method.

They are a talented team and a difficult opponent for us since they prefer to play little and quick and we prefer to play large, according to Cone.

Cone said, “We had a rough time against them the last game. We were only able to make a run towards the finish.”

True enough, the Batang Pier have been highly competitive because to the scoring prowess of import Prince Ibeh, Tolentino, and Will Navarro, as well as the firepower of players like Robert Bolick and Will Navarro and Tolentino and Robert Bolick.

Arwind Santos’ injury kept him from participating in the Batang Pier, which may have been much better.

For Christian Standhardinger, Japeth Aguilar, and Malonzo, NorthPort’s formidable rim protector in Ibeh would make things challenging.

But the Kings came into this game as the favorites. Cone, though, maintains that NorthPort will be a difficult opponent for Ginebra.

With 16 points and 3 assists, Stanley Pringle outscored Brownlee, Jamie Malonzo had 13 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals, and Scottie Thompson had 11 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. 

LA Tenorio, who Ginebra head coach Tim Cone had saved for the postseason, came out and scored 12 points, passing PBA legend Ronnie Magsanoc to move up to No. 4 on the list of all-time three-pointers. 

Tenorio made 4 of 6 attempts at three-pointers to increase his total to 1,174 and pass Magsanoc, who finished his illustrious career with 1,171 treys. 

With less than a minute remaining, 116-102, he made his fourth and final three-pointer, ending any aspirations the Batang Pier had of mounting a comeback.

Christian Standhardinger contributed 5 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists to the victory. 

Arvin Tolentino, a former forward for the Gin Kings, destroyed the Batang Pier with 29 points and 8 rebounds but then saw them crumble. 

Prince Ibeh had 18 points, 15 rebounds, 5 steals, 2 blocks, and 21 points while Robert Bolick had 6 assists as NorthPort was eliminated in the quarterfinals. 

In the previous six seasons, the sixth-seeded Batang Pier made it to the playoffs nine times, but only once did they advance to the semifinals.

Scores at the end of the match

Barangay Ginebra with 118 points

Individual Scores: Brownlee 39, Pringle 16, Malonzo 13, Tenorio 12, Thompson 11, Gray 9, J. Aguilar 7, Mariano 6, Standhardinger 5

NorthPort with 102 points

Individual Scores: Tolentino 29, Bolick 21, Ibeh 18, Ferrer 15, Sumang 9, Navarro 8, Ayaay 2, Chan 0, Calma 0, Balanza 0

Scores per quarter

29-24, 56-50, 89-74, 118-102

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