The GlobalPort Batang Pier regained their winning ways after taking down the NLEX Road Warriors, 116-94, in the 2018 Honda PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday evening.
The victory was a product of excellent teamwork as the Batang Pier saw six of their players finish in double figures.
Malcolm White had a double-double of 20 points and 13 rebounds. He also added four assists and four blocks to round up his line. But it was the support that he got from his teammates that made the biggest difference.
Sean Anthony led the locals with 21 points. Stanley Pringle had 19, while Nico Elorde provided 16 points in a rare start. Mo Tautuaa chipped in 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.
Both teams opened the game struggling on offense. GlobalPort was empty in its first three shots. NLEX missed its first six. But as soon as they got that first made basket, the Batang Pier started to roll.
GlobalPort jumped ahead by working the ball down in the paint. White was the centerpiece of this scheme as he repeatedly overpowered the defense of the Road Warriors. And while the import got busy underneath, Anthony supplemented him by knocking down a shots from outside.
By halftime, three players had already scored in double figures for the Batang Pier. Anthony and White had 16 and 12 points, respectively. Pringle joined the mix with 10 of his own.
GlobalPort enjoyed a 12-point advantage at the break. But at the start of the second half, things seemed to be turning the other way.
Kiefer Ravena sparked an 11-2 NLEX blitz to get within three, 57-54. The rookie scored seven of those points and got a big steal to power his team back in the game. That, however, was the closest that the Road Warriors would get.
The Batang Pier responded with another run that allowed them to seize control for good. In that stretch, GlobalPort could do no wrong. Whether it was the starters or the second unit, their five on the floor were always doing things to better the lead.
Ravena was NLEX's best performer as he tallied 24 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. But he did not receive much help as Larry Fonacier was the only other local in double figures with 11 points. JR Quiñahan could not find his shot all night long. He ended up with six points on a 3-for-13 clip.
Even import Arnett Moultrie had a rough night. He finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds but shot a lowly 8-for-20 from the field.
Sean Anthony continued his strong play in the current conference. Entering the match, he had per game averages of 25.0 points (7th in the league), 10.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals. He has scored more than 20 points in four his five games this conference.
Despite his double-double finish, Arnett Moultrie had little impact in the game. By halftime, he was only shooting 2-for-10 from the field. NLEX is now 1-3 with him as reinforcement.
NLEX versus Blackwater on May 30 (Wednesday) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum
GlobalPort versus Rain or Shine on May 20 (Sunday) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum