By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The NorthPort Batang Pier just clinched its first-ever win in the ongoing PBA Governor’s Cup after crushing the Terrafirma Dyip, 115-100, last February 22, 2023, held at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
Entering the duel with a disappointing 0-6 record, the Batang Pier squad immediately showed a sense of urgency and looked like a different team when they grabbed the early lead courtesy of import Kevin Murphy’s hot shooting from the field.
Murphy drained buckets in a blink of an eye and was schooling Terrafirma’s perimeter defense alongside Ilonggo guard Paolo Taha who scored two easy drives in the first three minutes of the ball game.
Superstar Robert Bolick then joined the offensive showcase and spearheaded NorthPort’s scoring when Murphy sat down.
The former Gilas Pilipinas sniper was all over the floor, hitting his signature step-back three-pointers while toying with the Dyip’s backcourt in fast-break situations.
To make things worse for Terrafirma, former PHL’s no. 1 3×3 player Joshua Munzon also shot the lights out and picked up where Bolick left off at the start of the second quarter.
Everything then began to fall into place for the Batang Pier. JM Calma, their previous lottery Rookie draft pick, manhandled Terrafirma’s shaded lane and played his best game of the ongoing conference so far.
The smooth and savvy big man kicked off his low-post clinic midway through the second period and scored in a variety of ways including his go-to hook move, bank flip shots, and face-up elbow jumpers.
Calma was hailed as the game’s Best Player after finishing with 18 points built from 7/8 shooting from the field, nine rebounds, and an assist.
Terrafirma had a decent fightback in the first six minutes of the third quarter when they trimmed NorthPort’s lead to just three points. However, Murphy once again exploded in the most perfect time and ballooned their lead to double digits that sucked the life out of the Dyip.
Murphy led all scorers with 28 big points, nine rebounds, and two assists while Bolick dropped 26 points on 8/16 shooting from the field.
The Batang Pier will have the chance to rack its second-straight win when they collide with the Blackwater Bossing squad on February 25, 2023.
Meanwhile, Terrafirma will seek to get back on track on March 2, 2023, and test the rolling NLEX Road Warriors.