GlobalPort outworked, outhustled and outplayed an erratic TNT KaTropa side on the way to a 99-84 victory that propelled the Batang Pier two notches up to seventh place in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.
The Batang Pier terribly beat the Texters on hustle plays in fashioning out a surprise dominant victory that enhanced their playoff hopes with a fourth win in eight games.
"We started aggressively. Our mindset was TNT was playing a third game in a week. We told ourselves to take advantage of that," said GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio.
The Texters struggled all night in the face of the Batang Pier's unrelenting stand, and dropped from seventh to ninth spot with six losses against four wins.
They must win their last game versus the NLEX Road Warriors on Feb. 28 to have a shot at a playoff berth.
Falling way behind early and trailing by as many as 30 at 37-67, the Texters still tried to make a fight out of it but couldn't get closer than 10.
They just couldn't overcome the Batang Pier's 67-50 advantage in rebounds.
The Batang Pier grabbed 23 offensive boards and pounced on the Texters, 30-13, on second-chance points.
Jarencio had a battery of players stepping up to hand the Texters a third straight defeat.
Nico Elorde played what's easily his best game in the pro league, piling up 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists against four errors.
Stanley Pringle, Bradwyn Guinto, Yousef Taha, Jonathan Grey and Kelly Nabong collected double-digit outputs while Teng went 3-of-3 from the arc in the first half to highlight a decent debut with GlobalPort.
In a banter with Jason Castro after the game, Jarencio got kudos from the TNT star for "a good game plan.".*pba.com
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