NorthPort roared to a second straight win after edging NLEX, 95-90, in the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier joined Phoenix Pulse atop the standings early in the conference with identical 2-0 win-loss records while the Road Warriors dropped their second straight assignment.
Sean Anthony led NorthPort with an all-around outing of 22 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and six steals.
Mo Tautuaa scored 18 points and hauled down 11 rebounds, while Robert Bolick had 14 points including a three-pointer in the final stretch that kept the Batang Pier ahead.
A minute later, Paolo Taha, who also came up big in their opener, uncorked a long two followed by a split on the foul line by Bolick as the Batang Pier took a 92-87 edge with less than two minutes remaining.
NLEX would score a single field goal after that with Tautuaa putting the finishing touches with a left-handed hook off a spin against the outstretched arms of NLEX big man Poy Erram.
"We just stuck together. NLEX is a great team. We just came together in the end and moved the ball. Everyone stepped up," Anthony said after the match.
Erram led all NLEX scorers with 19 points on top of seven rebounds, three blocks, and two assists but turned the ball over six times.
JR Quiñahan shot a pair of three-pointers on his way to 18 points that went with six assists, and five rebounds. Bong Galanza scored 11 points. Philip Paniamogan had 10 points, three rebounds and the same number of assists, and two steals.
NorthPort 95 - Anthony 22, Tautuaa 18, Bolick 14, Pringle 11, Taha 9, Elorde 8, Arana 4, Guinto 3, Flores 2, Lanete 2, Grey 2, Gabayni 0, Sollano 0.
NLEX 90 - Erram 19, Quinahan 18, Galanza 11, Paniamogan 10, Magat 8, Tallo 7, Fonacier 5, Baguio 4, Ighalo 2, Alas 2, Soyud 2, Porter 2, Taulava 0, Rios 0.
Quarterscores: 25-22, 48-46, 71-70, 95-90.
-Robert Bolick struggled to duplicate his explosive debut game in the PBA. He had a game-high seven turnovers but came up with timely baskets in the end on the way to 14 points.
-Marion Magat is NLEX's project this season. NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said he has asked the "athletic" player to bulk up. Guiao is looking to make Magat play the three position. He finished with eight points and eight rebounds on Sunday.
NorthPort - vs Columbian Dyip on January 25 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo
NLEX - vs TNT on January 23 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum