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Batang Pier shock Tropang Giga

Photograph courtesy of PBA Fran Yu delivers the goods during NorthPort’s 128-123 overtime win over TNT in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup game Friday at the Philsports Arena.

Games today:

(Philsports Arena)

3 p.m. — Phoenix Super LPG vs Converge

6:15 p.m. — Rain or Shine vs Blackwater 


NorthPort survived TNT in a game of spurts before pulling off a tense 128-123  overtime win in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup on Friday night at the Philsports Arena.

The Batang Pier’s youth movement led by Fran Yu’s big plays down the stretch, allowed NorthPort to get back on track after losing big leads earlier.

Arvin Tolentino, the leading local scorer in the tournament with an average of 23 points per game, had another explosive evening, tallying 27 points, pulling down nine rebounds and dishing out three assists.

NorthPort took a 55-40 advantage in the second quarter but a big burst by TNT allowed the Tropang Giga to head back to the dressing room with a hairline 62-61 lead.

Calvin Oftana scored 15 first-quarter points before Glenn Khobuntin and import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson started to flex their muscles to turn things around in the second period.

Both teams waxed hot in the early goings with NorthPort scoring 37 points in the first period and TNT making 33.

Oftana was a one-man show in the first canto, but TNT found the usual balance when Khobuntin and Hollis-Jefferson joined in the scoring fray.

NorthPort even trailed by as many as 12, 70-82, but the Batang Pier responded with a potent 18-7 run to close out the third period and led by one entering the final quarter, 90-89.

“I think this is the first time that we won in the assist department, so I have to commend my rookie guards for doing a great job,” said NorthPort coach Bonnie Tan.

On top of scoring 14 points, Yu, a member of Letran’s multiple champion teams in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, dished out six assists, including a nice feed to Tolentino, who was squared up for the dagger trey at the corner, with 1:06 left in overtime, giving the Batang Pier a 125-119 spread.

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