Slaughter stands tall as Northport outlasts Rain or Shine in OT
MANILA, Philippines — With Greg Slaughter putting up a dominant performance, NorthPort bounced back with a crucial 91-88 overtime victory over Rain or Shine Saturday in the PBA Philippine Cup in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Slaughter, fully-utilized this time after his criticized endgame benching in their 89-90 heartbreaker to Magnolia Friday, banged in 25 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks as the Batang Pier fanned their quarterfinals hope at 5-5.
The seven-foot Slaughter scored what turned out to be the overtime-forcing bucket then swatted away Gabe Norwood’s potential game-tying three-point attempt in the last 2.5 seconds of extension to cap his heroics.
“Gregzilla” formed a 1-2 punch with Robert Bolick, who delivered 24 markers, six boards and seven assists. Skipper Sean Anthony had 10 rebounds and nine points, his last shot giving NorthPort a 90-86 cushion with 53.5 ticks left.
“We’re just a team that wants to win. A lot of frustration last time but everytime you lose, that makes you hungry next time. We just trusted one another and coach Pido (Jarencio) and we just pulled together and moved to the next one,” said Slaughter.
Jarencio took the blame for the tactical blunder of subbing Slaughter in the dying seconds of the Magnolia game, which backfired as Calvin Abueva scored the buzzer-beating layup.
“I was so apologetic to Greg and the rest of the team. We patched up things and focused on the work at hand,” said Jarencio, whose wards jumped to No. 6.
“It was a total team effort. From Greg to Robert to the last man on the bench, they all played hard. We wanted to get on track again.”
ROS, which was hurt by James Yap’s three missed freethrows in the last 5.6 ticks of OT, finished the elims with a 6-5 record.
Meanwhile, in the aftermath of its shameful 19-game losing skid, Blackwater effected a coaching change and tapped Ariel Vanguardia in place of Nash Racela.
Vanguardia, the Bossing’s alternate governor, will make his coaching comeback after a previous stint with Phoenix.
NorthPort 91 – Slaughter 25, Bolick 24, Anthony 9, Malonzo 8, Elorde 7, Lanete 6, Grey 4, Ferrer 4, Onwubere 3, Rike 1, Balanza 0, Doliguez 0.
Rain or Shine 88 – Ponferada 17, Belga 11, Yap 9, Santillan 9, Mocon 8, Borboran 8, Torres 8, Nambatac 6, Asistio 5, Norwood 3, Guinto 2, Caracut 2, Wong 0.
Quarterscores: 27-16, 42-37, 65-60, 80-80, 91-88.
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