Having a good mindset and the momentum of a three-game winning run are among the things that will help NorthPort Batang Pier get past the San Miguel Beermen in their best-of-three quarterfinals series.
Coach Pido Jarencio said this after the Batang Pier outplayed the Alaska Milk Aces, 122-94, at the close of the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round at the Don Honorio Ventura State U Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Thursday evening.
“This is the start of our buildup to have a winning culture. We are prepared and healthy going into the playoffs,” said Jarencio now that NorthPort carries a winning momentum entering its coming encounter with the Beermen.
Batang Pier, with key players Greg Slaughter and Sean Anthony sparingly used in their match with the Aces, took the fifth seeding with the victory, their seventh in 12 outings.
The Talk N Text Tropang Giga grabbed the no. 1 seed with their 10-1 slate, and will meet the winner of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Phoenix Fuel Masters’ clash on Saturday.
The Gin Kings finished tied with the Fuel Masters at eighth spot with Terrafirma Dyip.
But the better quotient of Ginebra and Phoenix record gave them the chance to make it to the Round of 8 with their win-or-go-home showdown.
The Beermen will be led by Terrence Romeo, who emerged as the leading scorer at the end of the elimination round.
Despite being hounded by injuries, Romeo still averaged 19.0 points on 46.8 shooting from the floor, during the six matches that he played in the 11-game elimination round.
Prolific rookie Mikey Williams trails at second spot with an 18.4 average for the top-seeded TNT Tropang Giga.
Robert Bolick of NorthPort is no. 3 with 18.1 points per game, while Barangay Ginebra’s Stanley Pringle with 17.5 is at third. Another Beerman in CJ Perez averages 17.2 at fifth spot.
The 7-foot Slaughter also made his presence felt in the six games he played in as he leads in rebounding (10.7) and blocked shots (2.3).
Slaughter also ranks 8th in scoring with 16.5 points.