Ginebra banks on a fiery fourth-quarter rally to fend off NorthPort

Jamie Malonzo slams home a deuce. (PBA Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel survived a first-half surge from the NorthPort Batang Pier and picked them apart in the final frame for a 122-105 win last November 27, 2022.

Ginebra had to dig deep after NorthPort’s superstar Robert Bolick got it going in the first 12 minutes of action, scoring seven points while giving the Batang Pier an early seven-point lead heading into the second quarter.

However, the duo of Christian Standhardinger and Jamie Malonzo injected some life into Ginebra after several scrappy and hustle plays that turned into points.

Their effort and offensive rebounding suddenly erased NorthPort’s lead midway in the second quarter and helped Ginebra equalize things at 63-all heading into the second half.

NorthPort once again replicated its hot start in the first quarter and opened the third frame with a six-point lead, 78-72, but the Gin Kings buried three consecutive three-pointers courtesy of Scottie Thompson and Justin Brownlee which shifted things in their favor, 81-80.

The game became an intense back-and-forth affair as the duo of Bolick and Arvin Tolentino answered every basket Brownlee, Thompson, and LA Tenorio made.

Ginebra looked to close the third quarter with a three-point lead but NorthPort’s swingman Jerrick Balanza was able to convert a deuce to help the Batang Pier stay within striking distance.

Just when the Batang Pier thought they could keep up with Ginebra’s pace, the Gin Kings suddenly flipped the switch and unloaded a momentum-clinching 12-2 run that ballooned their lead to 10 points, 106-96.

NorthPort did all that it could to chip away but Malonzo put on an offensive clinic after going unconscious from downtown that sealed the deal for Ginebra.

“I’m just trying to find my spots. I’ve been trying to find my spots within the offense and you know, just continue to buy into what we’ve been doing here,” said Malonzo after the game.

Malonzo top-scored all locals for Ginebra after dropping 26 points while Brownlee contributed another double-double game with 31 points and 13 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Batang Pier got 24 markers from Tolentino built from six three-pointers while Bolick added 22 points.