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HAPPY ENDING FOR BATANG PIER

05:52 PM April 13, 2014

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“Finally,” said GlobalPort point guard Alex Cabagnot, minutes after the Batang Pier chalked up their first win — a 98-96 decision over Barako Bull at the end of both teams’ campaigns in the 2014 PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

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The win gave rookie head coach Pido Jarencio his first win (1-8) in his PBA coaching career.

“At least happy ending,” the outspoken coach said. “Last game ng conference, nanalo pa kami. Syempre stepping stone na yan para sa amin.”

Already out of the running for a spot in the playoffs, GlobalPort saved its best for last, giving themselves company in the sidelines as the win eliminated the (2-7) Energy and allowing Air21, Rain or Shine and Barangay Ginebra, all toting identical 3-4 slates, free rides to the quarterfinals.

“Lahat naman ng team, pagpasok ng PBA, nagsa-struggle. At least, tapos na yung baptism of fire namin. Makaka-adjust na kami ng maayos for the third conference” added Jarencio whose team was on pins and needles after squandering leads of as much as 21 in the third period.

After Barako Bull’s JC Intal knotted the score at 93 with a big three from the top of the key, Cabagnot answered right back from the left flank and nailed the trey with 10.9 seconds to play, giving the Batang Pier a 96-93 lead.

Intal then turned the ball over in the ensuing inbounds play, as Mark Macapagal picked up the ball and Cabagnot canned both of his freebies to ice the game for GlobalPort.

Playing against his former team, Evan Brock had a game-high 27 points and 16 rebounds in the win, as Macapagal, who played in the last Philippine Cup in a Barako Bull uniform, had 11 of his 21 markers in the third, on a 5-of-11 shooting from rainbow country.

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Cabagnot finished with 14 points, six boards, and nine assists, while rookie RR Garcia also stepped up with 12 in the absence of fellow freshman Terrence Romeo who missed a second straight game because of a hip injury.

GlobalPort erected a 21-point lead early in the third, 67-46, but the Energy slowly chipped away at the lead behind Intal and Ronjay Buenafe.

But Cabagnot and the rest of the Batang Pier just proved to be more motivated in getting that first W in Jarencio’s maiden conference.

“There has been a lot of talk this conference, and it’s been tough, but we continuously push ourselves to be better,” Cabagnot said.

Joshua Dollard had a double-double to the tune of 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Energy, fought gallantly from that 21-point hole and nearly pulled the rug from under the Batang Pier.

Intal had nine of his 16 in the fourth, while Mick Pennisi dropped 13 for Barako Bull. Buenafe and rookie Jeric Fortuna also chipped in 11 points each. (RL)

The scores: (Click HERE for full boxscores)

GLOBALPORT 98 – Brock 27, Macapagal 21, Cabagnot 14, Garcia 12, Nabong 9, Salva 7, Washington 4, Salvador 2, Custodio 2, Matias 0.

BARAKO BULL 96 – Dollard 22, Intal 16, Pennisi 13, Fortuna 11, Buenafe 11, Lastimosa 7, Marcelo 6, Miranda 4, Najorda 2, Jensen 2, Pena 2, Miller 0.

Quarterscores: 29-15, 51-42, 80-63, 98-96.

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