NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio, who debuted new acquisitions Kevin Ferrer, Sol Mercado and Jervy Cruz in their 127-99 rout of Blackwater last Saturday, said the Batang Pier’s team play and Prince Ibeh’s defensive prowess have been working wonders for the side.
Batang Pier eye solo lead vs injury-hit foe
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - June 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Streaking NorthPort shoots for the solo lead against struggling Phoenix Pulse while Philippine Cup title protagonists Magnolia and San Miguel Beer renew their rivaly in an explosive PBA Commissioner’s Cup duel today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Unbeaten in their last four games, the Batang Pier (7-1) seek to keep this trend running at 4:30 p.m. against a Fuel Masters side (2-4) looking to overcome injuries to key players and the continued suspension of Calvin Abueva.

The resurgent Hotshots (3-2) aim to make it four in a row as they eye vengeance against the Beermen (2-3) in their first meeting since losing a seven-game series for the all-Filipino crown. 

NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio, who debuted new acquisitions Kevin Ferrer, Sol Mercado and Jervy Cruz in their 127-99 rout of Blackwater last Saturday, said the Batang Pier’s team play and Prince Ibeh’s defensive prowess have been working wonders for the side.

“In our last two games, seven players finished in double figures and that means we’re sharing the ball, everyone’s contributing and we’re working as a team. Ibeh is doing his share defensively, he’s been our anchor there. These are the reasons we’re running smoothly,” said Jarencio.

Phoenix braces for a tough time against in-form NorthPort especially with a lengthening list of injured players that now includes LA Revilla, Jaypee Mendoza, Rey Guevarra, and Mike Gamboa.

“The way NorthPort is playing, it will be a hard game for us,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas. “Actually they’re deeper now as we got four guys injured plus Calvin but we’ll be ready. I hope we can sustain the energy that we showed in our last game.”

Meanwhile, slow-starting Magnolia and SMB have started to get into the groove ahead of their 7 p.m. encounter.

The Hotshots have vaulted into the thick of things with three consecutive victories after a 0-2 start, their latest being a 99-96 disposal of Phoenix.          

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