GlobalPort had a good start for 2017, posting a 97-89 win against Meralco in the resumption of Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Friday.
“We needed that win, [we had a]bad experience last game,” said GlobalPort coach Franz Pumaren during the postgame press conference. “We were ahead but we were not able to keep our composure. We played within our system unlike the last game.”
Pumaren is pertaining to the Batang Pier’s 99-101 loss to Phoenix Petroleum on December 28. It was a disappointing defeat because Globalport squandered a 26-point lead it had early in the fourth period.
“With this win at least we’re still a game behind the second place team – a crucial stage of the game – hope we can sustain the run,” he added.
Guard Terrence Romeo tallied 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter plus five rebounds and five assists. Swingman Nino Canaleta posted 13 points while playmaker Mike Cortez had 12 points also for GlobalPort.
The Batang Pier improved its win-loss record to 4-3.
“We already moved on from what happened last year,” said Romeo. “There were still some lapses in our game but we managed to finish the game this time. It’s a collective effort. The most important thing that happened was we’re able to deliver in crucial moments.”
Veteran Billy Mamaril contributed 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, while Jay-R Quinahan had 11 points. Playmaker Stanley Pringle contributed nine points and eight rebounds also for the Batang Pier.
GlobalPort employed accurate shooting in the three-point zone right at the start of the game with Romeo connecting with two triples and Aaron Aban three resulting in a 26-19 lead after the first period.
Aban, who finished with nine points, notched his second triple to give the Batang Pier a 30-21 lead with still 10:21 to go in the second period. Romeo notched more points in the second quarter to stretch their lead, 44-28.
GlobalPort was enjoying a 51-41 advantage at the halftime break.
Meralco fought back in the third period with rookie Jonathan Grey notching 10 of his 18 points to close the gap, 71-72, at the start of fourth canto.
But Romeo delivered the crucial shots in the last seven minutes of the game to smother Meralco’s comeback attempt.
Reynel Hugnatan led the Bolts with 23 points. Meralco’s record, after absorbing its fourth straight loss, dropped to 2-5.