PBA: NorthPort slips past ROS, boosts playoff chances

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2021 04:34 PM | Updated as of Sep 20 2021 11:27 AM

Greg Slaughter came up clutch on the defensive end for NorthPort against Rain or Shine. PBA Media Bureau.
Greg Slaughter came up clutch on the defensive end for NorthPort against Rain or Shine. PBA Media Bureau.

MANILA (UPDATED) - Greg Slaughter came up with a huge stop in the dying seconds as the NorthPort Batang Pier escaped with a 91-88 overtime win over Rain or Shine, Sunday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Slaughter, who was controversially subbed out in the final possession of NorthPort's 90-89 loss to Magnolia on Friday, was on the court this time around and made sure to stamp his mark on the contest.

The big man bothered Gabe Norwood's inbound pass, then chased Norwood to the corner and blocked his three-point attempt at the buzzer.

The hard-earned win gave the Batang Pier a 5-5 win-loss record, boosting their chances of securing a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.

"We're just a team that wants to win. A lot of frustration last time, anytime you lose a game. But that just makes us hungry for the next one," said Slaughter, who finished with 25 pints, 11 rebounds, and six blocks in the game. 

"We trust in each other, we trust in Coach Pido (Jarencio), and we just pulled it together and knew we had to move on to the next one," he added.

NorthPort led by double-digits in the first quarter but the Elasto Painters turned things around in the second frame, and neither team could pull away in the second half. An exchange of buckets in the final two minutes led to Slaughter knotting the count at 80 with 1:46 to play.

Both teams had their chances, with NorthPort's Robert Bolick driving to the hoop for what appeared to be an open layup but was bothered by the defense of ROS forward Mark Borboran. On the other end, Borboran bricked a triple, but James Yap was able to retain possession only for NorthPort rookie Jamie Malonzo to pick off his pass.

Off a timeout, Bolick missed on a floater that could have won the game in regulation.

In the extra session, NorthPort took a four-point lead after buckets by Slaughter and Bolick, 88-84. They still led, 91-88, after Kevin Ferrer split his free throws off a foul by Rey Nambatac.

But Rain or Shine got a break when Malonzo fouled James Yap on a three-pointer, only for the veteran to miss all three of his attempts at the line. Malonzo got the board and was immediately fouled by Beau Belga, but the rookie also left the door open for Rain or Shine when he bricked both of his charities.

Fortunately for NorthPort, Slaughter was there in the endgame to deny Norwood.

"For me, it's a total team effort. As the professionals that they are, they just played hard tonight. They want to win," Jarencio said of his team.

Bolick put up 24 points, seven assists, and six rebounds in 42 minutes of action, while Malonzo grabbed 14 boards to offset his poor shooting performance as the rookie went just two-of-10 from the field for eight points. 

Leading the way for Rain or Shine were Jewel Ponferada (17 points) and Belga (11), but Javee Mocon was limited to eight points on three-of-12 shooting, and Rey Namatac had just six points after making two of his ten attempts. 

Despite their loss, the Elasto Painters are already assured of a quarterfinal berth with their 6-5 win-loss record.

The scores:

NORTHPORT 91 -- Slaughter 25, Bolick 24, Anthony 9, Malonzo 8, Elorde 7, Lanete 6, Grey 4, Ferrer 4, Onwubere 3, Rike 1.

RAIN OR SHINE 88 -- Ponferada 17, Belga 11, Yap 9, Santillan 9, Mocon 8, Borboran 8, Torres 8, Nambatac 6, Asistio 5, Norwood 3, Guinto 2, Caracut 2.

QUARTER-SCORES: 27-16, 42-37, 65-60, 80-80, 91-88.