NorthPort Batang Pier coach Pido Jarencio normally flashes a big smile when he faces reporters after every win, but that wasn't the case on Wednesday. Jarencio answered questions with a straight face, concerned with the injuries that continue to pile up for the Batang Pier. With star Stanley Pringle still shelved with an ankle injury, Nico Elorde (calf) and Mo Tautuaa (knee) also went down with injuries in the Batang Pier's 102-99 victory over Magnolia.
NorthPort now shares the top spot with idle Blackwater at 5-1 while keeping the Hotshots winless their first two games.
Sean Anthony finished with 22 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and five steals. Paolo Taha and Jonathan Grey had 16 and 14 points, respectively, while Prince Ibeh contributed 10 markers and 13 boards to go with four blocks.
"It was a total team effort. Everyone was stepping up. They really wanted to win," said Jarencio. "My only concern was the injuries. Good thing we have a week before our next game against Rain or Shine," he said. "It's also good that momentum is on our side."
Magnolia, meanwhile, was still trying to figure things out with its new import James Farr who arrived on Monday to replace John Fields. He came up with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
"They are still adjusting to their new import. But I think he's a great player," Jarencio said of Farr.
NorthPort 102 - Anthony 22, Taha 16, Tautuaa 14, Grey 14, Elorde 12, Bolick 11, Ibeh 10, Lanete 3, Gabayni 0.
Magnolia 99 - Sangalang 21, Herndon 18, Lee 16, Barroca 14, Farr 11, Jalalon 7, Brondial 5, Ramos 3, Melton 2, Dela Rosa 2, Pascual 0.
Quarterscores: 16-23, 48-43, 70-62, 102-99
John Fields was replaced by Farr after a 12-point, six rebound outing in Magnolia's conference opener. Farr is a 6-foot-10 cager out of Xavier. He was a Hungarian League champion (2017).
Tautuaa had 14 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists before hurting his knee late in the fourth quarter. Elorde scored 12 points.
NorthPort vs. Rain or Shine on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena
Magnolia vs. NLEX on June 14 at the Mall of Asia Arena