GlobalPort Batang Pier stayed alive in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup after pulling off a pulsating 114-113 victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, on Tuesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Needing two wins to reach the semifinals, the Batang Pier overcame tremendous challenges, surviving import Malcolm White’s foul trouble and clawing back from a double-digit deficit late in the third quarter to force the do-or-die quarterfinals contest against the top seed Elasto Painters.
As a result, GlobalPort thus moved a win away from becoming only the fourth eighth-seeded team in the league to eliminate a top-seeded opponent.
White topped the Batang Pier with 28 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks in 37 minutes, while getting ample support from the locals.
Jonathan Grey gave GlobalPort a huge lift in the fourth quarter, dropping 12 of his personal conference-best 22 points, including the difficult three-pointer from the corner that proved to be the game-winning shot with 11.5 seconds to play.
Down by as many as 16, 73-89, with less than two minutes left in the third, the Batang Pier came out with a rejuvenated and valiant effort in the payoff period by launching an 18-2 rally to tie the game at 91-all, 9:36 to go.
The Elasto Painters reestablished a 106-98 barrier with five minutes remaining, but GlobalPort rallied back with a 10-2 counter to force another deadlock and engage Rain or Shine into a nip-and-tuck battle heading into the final two-minute mark.
With a 112-111 lead, Rain or Shine had a chance to seal the win, but they went 1-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final one minute, paving way for Grey’s game-winning trifecta.
Stanley Pringle delivered big for GlobalPort as well with a near triple-double showing of 21 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists, while Sean Anthony had 11 markers and three assists off the bench.
Meanwhile, Reggie Johnson collected 24 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists in a losing effort for Rain or Shine.
The rubber match is on Thursday, July 12, 7:00 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena.
GLOBALPORT 114 – White 28, Grey 22, Pringle 21, Anthony 11, Elorde 7, Taha 6, Tautuaa 6, Javelona 4, Teng 3, Espinas 3, Guinto 3, Arana 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 113 – Johnson 24, Almazan 17, Ahanmisi 15, Daquioag 14, Tiu 10, Norwood 9, Belga 8.
Quarter scores: 24-26, 52-60, 83-91, 114-113.