Let Terrence Romeo rest and let Stanley Pringle run the show.
With the GlobalPort Batang Pier missing the league’s three-time scoring champion, they turned to last year’s second-best. And he did not disappoint.
Pringle put up 29 points, including 20 in the first half, to lead the Batang Pier to their first win of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Friday at the MOA Arena. The do-it-all guard also added nine boards while knocking down threes along the way.
Rain or Shine struggled to find their rhythm off the tip. They converted on only one of their first seven shots. This allowed the Batang Pier to go on a 13-2 run to open the game. Their lead grew to 14 points as Pringle scored nine points in the opening period alone.
Back-to-back threes from Maverick Ahanmisi finally woke Rain or Shine up. After missing their last game to attend his grandfather’s funeral in the US, Ahanmisi triggered a 13-0 Rain or Shine blitz that trimmed the deficit to just one at the end of the first quarter.
In the second, the Elasto Painters continued to surge behind key contributions from their bench. Mark Borboran came in and scored eight straight points. But it was Beau Belga’s jumper that got Rain or Shine its first lead of the game, 31-30.
It was at that point, however, that Pringle took over. He scored nine of the Batang Pier’s next 11 points. But as the question was in the first two losses of GlobalPort, was there going to be enough support from the rest of the team?
That was answered in the third quarter. Credit to the defensive adjustments of the Elasto Painters, Pringle was held scoreless. Still, the Batang Pier found a way to hold on to the lead.
The Batang Pier leaned on a collective effort from the rest of the team. The saw quality minutes played by Julian Sargent, Bradwyn Guinto and Jonathan Grey. But the most important contributions came from Kelly Nabong and Sean Anthony.
Nabong finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds for his third double-double in as many games this conference. Anthony, who averaged 24 points over their first two games, was limited to only three points on a poor 1-for-11 shooting. However, he impacted the game with 14 rebounds, 12 assists, four steals and one block.
“That’s one thing Coach Pido [Jarencio] said, ‘everybody’s got to step up,’” Pringle said. “Everybody’s listening and trying to lock in. Right now were jus trying to gel as a team. It’s going to be a long conference but we’re gonna be playing hard every game.”
Gabe Norwood top-scored for Rain or Shine with 15 points. He also grabbed eight boards and dished out three assists. Norwood had to assume the point guard duties to begin the game as Rain or Shine played undermanned.
Borboran finished with 13 points while Ahanmisi added 10.
GLOBALPORT 78 – Pringle 29, Nabong 12, Guinto 10, Grey 8, Sargent 8, Gabayni 4, Anthony 3, Flores 2, Elorde 2, Arana 0, Juico 0, Taha 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 70 – Norwood 15, Borboran 13, Ahanmisi 10, Belga 8, Nambatac 6, Yap 5, Ponferrada 3, Daquioag 3, Trollano 3, Almazan 2, Maiquez 2,
Quarters: 19-18, 41-35, 58-56, 78-70.
Rain or Shine played without four key players – Chris Tiu, Jericho Cruz, Jay Washington and Jireh Ibañes. Tiu sat out as he felt pain on his knee. According to a report from courtside reporter Rizza Diaz, Cruz is expected to be out for two to three more weeks while Washington and Ibañes will be out for about another month.
Rain or Shine (10/48) had more three-pointers made than GlobalPort (8/28), but they attempted 20 more shots from beyond the arc.
GlobalPort ruled inside, outscoring Rain or Shine (40-16) in the paint.
After putting up only five points on 2-for-12 shooting against Blackwater, James Yap continued to struggle. He had a similar output of five points on a 2-for-11 shooting clip.
Rain or Shine – January 17 (Wednesday) versus Phoenix at the Smart Araneta Coliseum
GlobalPort – January 19 (Friday) versus Blackwater at the Smart Araneta Coliseum