PBA: NorthPort pounces on June Mar Fajardo-less San Miguel

NorthPort Batang Pier's Arvin Tolentino against San Miguel Beermen.

NorthPort Batang Pier’s Arvin Tolentino against San Miguel Beermen. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–Even without its do-it-all import, NorthPort on Friday turned in a gutsy stand to dismantle San Miguel Beer, 115-101, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

Arvin Tolentino scored 28 points, Jushua Munzon 16, while rookie Cade Flores 15, filling the gaps left by the injured Venky Jois and annexing a third-straight victory in the tournament.

“I’m really happy with my local players, especially with our rookies who have been consistent in our last three games,” said coach Bonnie Tan, whose squad rose to 5-2 in the standings.

San Miguel drew 26 points from import Ivan Aska and five more double-digit performances, but that didn’t cut against a NorthPort side eager to make the most of the absence of reigning Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo.

The Beermen pulled within 70-71 with 5:00 minutes left in the third period, but that was the closest they got with Aska unable to assert himself in the payoff frame. They thus drop to 3-2.

It will be a quick turnaround for NorthPort as it battles Meralco this coming Sunday.

San Miguel, meanwhile, will go up against streaking Magnolia later in the night.

The Scores:

NORTHPORT 115 – Tolentino 28, Munzon 16, Flores 15, Calma 11, Paraiso 11, Chan 10, Caperal 8, Yu 8, Amores 6, Taha 2, Ayaay 0, Balagasay 0, Salado 0.

SAN MIGUEL 101 – Aska 26, Tautuaa 18, Lassiter 16, Perez 11, Ross 10, Cruz 10, Brondial 8, Mallilin 2, Bulanadi 0.

Quartescores: 29-22, 55-48, 92-77, 115-101

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