By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
SAN Miguel Beermen survived a late rally by Northport Batang Pier, 90-88, in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals Wednesday night to advance to the semifinals.
The Beermen looked to pull away and cement the upset with 8 minutes left in the final frame after chalking up their biggest lead in the game at 16.
But the resilient Northport team suddenly caught fire with Robert Bolick and import Prince Ibeh leading the charge to trim the lead to just a single point in just 4 minutes.
With a minute and 50 seconds left in the game, Sean Anthony launched a three that put Northport up by 4 points, 82-86.
But former MVP Arwind Santos once again delivered in the clutch for the Beermen when he scored 5 points in just 20 seconds to put the Beermen back in the lead, 87-86.
After a timeout, Northport coach Pido Jarencio drew up a curl pick and roll play for Bolick and Moala Tautuaa, Bolick drove to the basket and sank a high-arching floater to grab the lead again at 87-88.
The two teams continued to trade baskets.
With 30 second left in the clock, Beermen import Chris McCullough took matters into his own hands. He drove to the basket and nailed an acrobatic lay-up, plus a foul, to tilt the balance in favor of the Beermen again, 89-88.
McCullough iced the game by sinking a free-throw for the final score of 90-88.
Garvo Lanete provided the scoring punch for Northport with a 22-point output off the bench.
The Beermen will face the winner between the Rain or Shine and Blackwater quarterfinal showdown.
San Miguel – McCullough 31, Lassiter 11, Cabagnot 10, Santos 10, Fajardo 8, Standhardinger 8
NorthPort – Lanete 22, Tautuaa 20, Ibeh 15, Bolick 13, Anthony 10, Taha 4,