Robert Bolick banked in a bailout 3-pointer that gave NorthPort a comfortable 35-point lead over the Beermen with 8:12 remaining in the game. By then everything was simply going NorthPort's way as the Batang Pier welcomed the San Miguel Beermen to the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup with a 121-88 thumping Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Seven players finished in double figures for the Batang Pier, with Bolick leading the charge with 25 points, spiked by three triples.
Prince Ibeh posted 18 points and 11 rebounds, Jonathan Grey and Garvo Lanete scored 16 points each, while Mo Tautuaa, Nico Elorde, and Sean Anthony combined for 32.
"I just told them to be aggressive and to keep on attacking," said NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio, whose team got a slice of the lead with a 4-1 win-loss record.
The onslaught started in the second period as the Batang Pier became aggressive on both ends and outscored the Beermen, 26-19. They were unstoppable from there.
Only import Charles Rhodes and June Mar Fajardo were the ones doing the damage for the Beermen, but not even their combined efforts could get them over the hump.
Rhodes looked like the same beast who led the team to the championship in 2017, finishing with 27 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks, and two steals. Fajardo, on the other hand, still came through with 19 points, five rebounds, and three blocks.
"It was just their off night," Jarencio said of the Beermen. "They were probably still on vacation mode. But we needed the win because it's a short conference."
NorthPort 121 - Bolick 25, Ibeh 18, Lanete 16, Grey 16, Tautuaa 11, Elorde 11, Anthony 10, Taha 9, Flores 3, Gabayni 2.
San Miguel 88 - Rhodes 27, Fajardo 19, Santos 11, Pessumal 11, Standhardinger 6, Cabagnot 5, Zamar 4, Vigil 3, Lassiter 2, Rosser 0, Mamaril 0.
Quarerscores: 25-25, 54-41, 91-63, 121-88
Stanley Pringle, who is still nursing an injury, sat out the match. "He will be ready by next week," said Jarencio.
Terrence Romeo and Chris Ross also didn't play for the Beermen. They were on the bench wearing street clothes.
Fajardo sat out the entire fourth quarter.
NorthPort vs. Magnolia on June 12 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
San Miguel vs. TNT on June 8 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.