Following its fiery Game 1 start, NorthPort looks to put Barangay Ginebra on the brink as it shoots for a 2-0 advantage in their semifinals duel in the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup.
The Batang Pier aims for a follow-up win while the Gin Kings are looking to equalize as they meet again in Game 2 of their best-of-five series tonight at 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Still with all the momentum, the Batang Pier shocked the Gin Kings by whipping them emphatically, 124-90, in the series opener Saturday night.
Behind the hot hands of Michael Qualls, NorthPort immediately grasped control in the second quarter to breeze through the rest of the game, catching stunned Ginebra off guard.
Qualls finished with a game-high 38 points while Garbo Lanete also gave a big spark, scoring 24 points of his own for NorthPort.
NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio was happy with the head start that his team got and is looking to continue capitalizing on the Batang Pier’s sizzling run.
“We’re lucky we caught Ginebra on its off night, but we’re also clicking,” said Jarencio. “We expect Ginebra to adjust but we hope to repeat to move closer to the finals.”
Overall, the red hot Batang Pier is riding a five-game winning streak, dating back to the elimination round.
The Gin Kings had no answer for the Batang Pier’s relentless offense in Game 1 as they weren’t able to set up their defense.
Christian Standhardinger has been going full bore in NorthPort’s series against Barangay Ginebra.
Despite playing non-stop since the start of the playoffs, all the way through the 30th Southeast Asian Games, the Fil-German sophomore has been playing like a energizer bunny for the Batang Pier.
He had 16 points, 15 rebounds, and six assists in the team’s victory over the Gin Kings.
Admitting that fatigue is fact catching up on him, Standhardinger had none of it during Game One of the best-of-five semis series.
“I’m a little banged-up, but I’m OK. And nothing could keep me off the court,” said the 30-year-old center.
Meanwhile, the Meralco Bolts and TNT KaTropa started their own semifinal battle as of press time with both squads looking to draw first blood.
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