Sean Anthony, NorthPort scrape past import-less NLEX for 2-0 start
MANILA, Philippines—Sean Anthony came through in the clutch as NorthPort escaped an import-less NLEX side, 83-79, in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Anthony scored his team’s last four points, including a go-ahead putback, 81-79, with 15.8 seconds left. The do-it all forward also hit two free throws to seal the game with 1.6 ticks to go.
“NLEX is a tough team and at the same time, coach Yeng (Guiao) is a tough coach. They’re just really hard to beat,” said NorthPort head coach Pido Jarencio, whose squad improved to 2-0.
“They didn’t have an import but it still went down the wire. But a win is a win and we’ll take it,” he added.
Anthony finished with 17 points and six rebounds off the bench while Prince Ibeh posted 15 points, 19 rebounds and six blocks.
The Road Warriors went all-Filipino after their replacement import Tony Mitchell failed to secure his papers.
Unfazed by the circumstance, NLEX’s locals came ready to play with Kenneth Ighalo leading the way.
Ighalo fired 18 points, including 13 in the first half where the Road Warriors even took a nine-point lead.
The Batang Pier were also undermanned with star point guard Stanley Pringle still dealing with some pain in his right foot following surgery.
It was an ugly win for NorthPort, which shot itself in the foot with 19 missed free throws, but a victory nonetheless.
“Good start for the team this second conference.”