The rise of the NorthPort Batang Pier after the acquisition of Christian Standhardinger continues. From being at the brink of elimination, the Batang Pier fought their way all the way to the Semifinals after upset win over the NLEX Road Warriors. It took three extra periods in the do-or-die game, but the Batang Pier finally pulled out of the fracas with a 126-123 win, eliminating the top-seeded Road Warriors.
Standhardinger was a beast in the paint. He played over 61 minutes and amassed monster numbers, with 33 points, 23 rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Michael Qualls also had a 30-20 game with 31 points and 21 rebounds. Sean Anthony also played a crucial, with 30 points and 11 rebounds from off the bench. Manny Harris led NLEX in the losing effort with 43 points, 16 rebounds and four steals.
Down by as much as 10 midway through the fourth period, Standhardinger, Qualls and Anthony all played big to drag NorthPort back into the game. They pulled even after a 5-0 run by Qualls and Anthony. After that, both teams traded shots at the line, with Qualls sinking two shots in the final seven seconds of regulation to force OT.
In the first OT, it was NorthPort’s turn to take the lead. Standhardinger scored in the paint and Anthony drilled a triple to bookend a run that put the Batang Pier up by four heading to the last two minutes of the first extra period. But NLEX fought back led by Harris. He scored on an and-one hoop to tie the game and send it to another OT.
It was Raul Soyud from off the bench that came up big for NLEX. He scored five straight points off a triple and a bucket inside to once again help the Road Warriors pull even. Kevin Ferrer scored a triple after a loose ball scramble to give NorthPort the lead back. Just when the Batang Pier thought the game was over, Philip Paniamogan hits a game-tying three-pointer from the left corner to tie the game with five seconds left.
In the third OT, Anthony and Standhardinger pushed the Batang Pier ahead by four. But a big triple by Paniamogan and back-to-back hits by Kiefer Ravena put the Road Warriors up by one. Anthony bullied his way inside to give NorthPort the lead back. The Road Warriors had their chances to take the lead or tie the game in the final seconds but they couldn’t get the big shots.