NORTH PORT stormed to 109-83 victory over a Talk ‘N Text team that seemed to offer little resistance on Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier sustained their offensive from start to finish as they surprisingly dominated the KaTropa for what was only their third win in nine outings.
In the process, Rain or Shine, which finished with an 8-3 record after the 11-game elimination, got a free ride to become the second seed behind top seed 9-2 Phoenix Fuel.
Both the Fuel Masters and the Elasto Painters will enjoy the luxury of beating their quarterfinal opponents only once.
The TNT loss also shut the door on top two bid by Barangay Ginebra which defeated NLEX, 105-96, in Petron Blaze Saturday Special in Angeles City.
Ginebra is hoping a three-way tie among itself, RoS and TNT to ensue – a situation which will make the Gin Kings the second seed by virtue of having the most superior quotient.
Now, the Gin Kings are after improving their position as they tackle their last two opponents in Meralco whom they will play on Wednesday, and NorthPort at the close of the elimination on April 3.
The Batang Pier meanwhile improved their standings for a possible spot in the playoff, but they will have to corner their last two outings and wait for the possibilities that may befall on teams crowding the 6th to 9th places in the standings.
NorthPort, which will play Alaska on Wednesday and Ginebra on April 3, led by 20 after three quarters, stretching it to as many as 92-68, late in the fourth period.
The Batang Pier dominated the entire first half as they exploded for nine triples, including three from Stanley Pringle and two from Garvo Lanete. Jonathan Grey, Elorde, Robert Bolick and Mo Tautuaa contributed one triple each in the first half.
The KaTroa on the other hand could not seem to find their marks from outside, with Jay Washington and Troy Rosario accounting for TNT’s only two triples out of 19 attempts in the first two quarters.
Pringle, who finished with 17 points after two quarters, Bolick and Elorde came through with a triple each when the Batang Pier opened up a 22-12 late in the first quarter.
Lanete then made back-to-back triples at the onset of the second quarter, sending TNT suing for quick timeout which didn’t help.
Instead, the North Port momentum continued, with Mo sinking one more triple and Pringle adding two three-pointers as the Batang Pier stormed to a commanding 46-23 lead.
A three-point shot by Rosario broke the KaTropa silence, but the Batang Pier merely kept scoring to build a 53-31 lead at the turn.
NorthPort (109) - Pringle 27, Anthony 14, Tautuaa 13, Taha 13, Flores 11, Grey 9, Bolick 8, Elorde 8, Lanete 6, Guinto 0, Sollano 0.
TNT (83) - Trollano 15, Washington 13, Pogoy 10, Cruz 7, Reyes 7, Castro 7, Rosario 6, Miranda 6, Taha 5, Williams 4, Golla 2, Semerad 1, Heruela 0, Carey 0, Casino 0.
Quarterscores: 22-16, 53-31, 82-61, 109-83.