Batang Pier rally to edge FiberXers in OT

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Batang Pier rally to edge FiberXers in OT
Arvin Tolentino (10) erupted for 31 points for the NorthPort Batang Pier.
PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – The NorthPort Batang Pier tightened up on defense and stormed from 18 points down to tally their first win in the PBA Philippine Cup at the expense of the Converge FiberXers, 112-104, in overtime Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Trailing by 17 points in the fourth quarter, 67-84, NorthPort banked on a suffocating full-court press to force numerous turnovers and turn the game around.

They unleashed a 14-0 run capped by a pair of free throws by Arvin Tolentino to cut the lead to three, 81-84.

A turnaround jumper by Justin Arana stopped the bleeding with 6:09 remaining, but the Batang Pier just kept on coming.

They were ultimately able to take the lead, 93-91, with 2:18 remaining after a layup by Cade Flores.

A layup by Tolentino off another steal by Fran Yu hiked the lead to four, 95-91.

King Caralipo hit a layup to cut the lead, and a split from the line by Tolentino gave Converge a window of opportunity, 96-93.

Alec Stockton then hit a 3-pointer to tie the game and force overtime.

In the extra five minutes, the Batang Pier’s transition game continued to create trouble for Converge.

After a split from the line by Arana to cut the lead to five, 101-106, a transition dagger dunk by Tolentino iced the game, 108-101.

Stockton tried to help Converge inch closer, but a Will Navarro layup shut the door completely.

Tolentino had a near triple-double, finishing with 31 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. He also had two steals and a block.

Joshua Munzon chipped in 17 markers, six rebounds and a career-high six steals.

Stockton unleashed a career-high 27 points. Arana added 25 points and 13 boards, but he committed eight turnovers.

NorthPort recorded 19 steals and seven blocks, forcing Converge to commit 31 total turnovers.

Converge led by as much as 18 points, 68-50, in the third quarter as Stockton carried the offense.

In the final frame, the Batang Pier stole the ball nine times as they turned the ballgame completely upside down.

The Batang Pier are now holding a 1-1 card, while the FiberXers dropped to 0-2.

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