Fortified with new import and recruits, Globalport upset Meralco, 94-86, to keep its quarterfinals hopes alive in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Globalport’s win-loss record improved to 3-6 after the win.
The Batang Pier relied heavily on import Justin Harper, whose debut was marked by a strong fourth quarter performance that allowed Globalport to outgun Meralco in that period 33-21.
GlobalPort now trails Phoenix (4-5) by one game for the last quarterfinals seat with two games left in the elimination round.
“Everybody is wondering why we gambled for a new import. Actually, he just arrived this morning but basically we really wanted to get him before and we finally got him,” said Batang Pier GlobalPort coach Franz Pumaren.
“We needed a scoring import and one who will give us new dimension in our game,” he added.
Harper exploded for 30 points on 10-of-20 shooting from the field, spiked by five triples, plus nine rebounds to lead GlobalPort, which also got solid debut from new players Sean Anthony and Bradwyn Guinto.
Anthony scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while the power forward Guinto had eight points and seven rebounds. Jonathan Grey, the other new addition, had three in his first game against his former team.
Harper gave the Batang Pier their biggest lead in the game, 54-45, after hitting a triple with 8:08 to go in the third period. The Bolts, however, were able to seize the advantage, 65-61, with a late rally before the start of the payoff quarter.
Stanley Pringle, who netted 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, gave GlobalPort an 83-81 lead after hitting two free throws with 3:31 left in the game and his jumper with 36 ticks left provided them a 91-86 lead.
The Batang Pier were never threatened from thereon and ended the three-game winning streak of Meralco, which dropped to 7-2.