MANILA, Philippines -- Robert Bolick had a superb debut to power the NorthPort Batang Pier to a comfortable 117-91 victory over the Blackwater Elite in their first game of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
In his first game as a professional, Bolick -- the third overall pick in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft -- scored 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting, going a perfect 7-of-7 from inside the arc.
Five other players scored in double-digits for the Batang Pier, with Paolo Taha notching 21 points, and Stanley Pringle adding 16 markers on top of 7 rebounds, 6 steals, and 5 assists. Sean Anthony added 19 points.
"It's a total team effort," said NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio after the game. "Lahat, they did their share."
"We're making our shots, 'yung decision-making, maganda," he added. "We're complementing each other, nagpapasahan, we're getting rebounds. We're running. 'Yan ang basketball namin."
NorthPort raced to an 8-0 start and was up 13-3 in the opening quarter, before allowing Blackwater to come back into the game through their turnovers. The Elite went on to lead by 12 points, 40-28, with 8 minutes left in the second period.
But the Batang Pier steadily worked their way back behind Sean Anthony, who played a key role in the run that put NorthPort ahead. After trailing by 12 points, NorthPort outscored Blackwater, 27-7, in the final 8 minutes of the second quarter. A booming three-pointer by Pringle put them ahead, 55-48, at the break.
NorthPort poured it on in the third quarter, establishing a double-digit lead before completely breaking the game open in the fourth frame. A blistering start to the payoff period saw the Batang Pier take a 102-76 lead, and the Elite never recovered.
NorthPort eventually led by 29 points, 111-82, with under five minutes left off a free throw by Nico Elorde.
Mo Tautuaa added 11 points while Bradwyn Guinto had 12 markers for NorthPort. The Batang Pier shot 52% from the field, and had a 54-44 advantage on the glass.
Rookie Abu Tratter led the Elite with 18 points and 8 rebounds, while Roi Sumang had 16 points. Blackwater made just 37.9% of their field goals.
NorthPort 117 - Bolick 26, Taha 21, Anthony 19, Pringle 16, Guinto 12, Tautuaa 11, Elorde 5, Flores 4, Arana 3, Gabayni 0, Sollano 0.
Blackwater 91 - Tratter 18, Sumang 16, Maliksi 13, Javier 11, Belo 8, Digregorio 5, Jose 5, Desiderio 5, Alolino 4, Sena 2, Banal 2, Eriobu 2, Palma 0, Dario 0.
Quarter scores: 22-31, 55-48, 88-75, 117-91.
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