MANILA -- (UPDATED) Finally, NorthPort has rediscovered its winning ways.
The Batang Pier have kept their 2019 PBA Philippine Cup playoff hopes alive, scoring a much-needed 109-83 victory over TNT Sunday at the Big Dome.
Following a strong 2-0 start, NorthPort suffered six straight losses and was on the brink of elimination. That drought stopped as the Batang Pier delivered a sharp peformance against the KaTropa.
Now at 3-6, NorthPort still has a shot of crashing the playoffs.
By taking a crucial win over TNT, Northport actually did another team a solid by handing them a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.
The Batang Pier’s win eliminated both TNT (7-4) and Ginebra (6-3) from top-2 contention, handing idle Rain or Shine (8-3) the No. 2 seed in the All-Filipino playoffs.
However, NorthPort couldn’t care less about what was happening at the top of the standings. The team’s only concern was how to get a much-needed win and keep their own playoff hopes alive.
NorthPort got that and then some.
Rain or Shine has the Batang Pier to thank still.
“Actually wala kaming pakialam sa kanilang lahat eh, ang pakialam namin eh manalo kami,” a hyper Pido Jarencio said on his post-game press conference after a crucial win.
“Kami muna, intindihin muna namin problema namin ano, bahala na sila sa problema nila. Kung nabigyan namin sila ng free ticket para maging number 1 or number 2, kung sino mang team 'yun, magpadala na lang sila ng pagkain sa practice bukas,” he added
Turning serious, Jarencio said NorthPort’s focus remains the rest of its schedule.
The Batang Pier still have an uphill climb to make the playoffs and this is the perfect opportunity to create something special for their team.
“'Yung pride, puso, palaban, lalabas na ngayon 'yan,” Coach Pido said.
“Sabi ko lang sa kanila, basta positive. Trust the process, trust the coaches, and trust each other, ano? Win or lose we have to be together, di pwede crab mentality dito,” he added.
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.