IN a duel pitting two prized rookies who had impressive stints for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, CJ Perez of Columbian had the last laugh against NorthPort’s Robert Bolick last night.
The Dyip turned back the gritty Batang Pier 114-108 for their second win in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Perez did most of the damage for Columbian with 26 points, to go with 11 rebounds and six assists while import Khapri Alston had 25 markers and 17 boards.
Rashawn McCarthy, Eric Camson, and Glenn Khobuntin also added 18, 14, and 11 points, respectively, as the Dyip improved to 2-1 and handed NorthPort its second straight loss for a 1-2 record.
With the come-from-behind win, Columbian bounced back from its 90-96 defeat to Rain or Shine last Sept. 22.
The Batang Pier failed to recover from their 80-96 setback to defending champion Magnolia last Friday.
“It’s another close game, but this time we ended up winning,” said Dyip coach Johnedel Cardel.
“Going into this game I told the players, we need to beat this team if we want to go to the quarterfinals,” he added.
Columbian trailed 52-60 at the half but charged back behind Perez, who poured 16 of his total output in the third canto where the Dyip outscored NorthPort 38-25 to take a 90-85 cushion going into the payoff period.
An Alston basket made it a 112-103 game with 1:34 remaining in the fourth but the Batang Pier pulled to within 108-112 on a Kevin Ferrer triple.
Reden Celda sealed the triumph for Columbian with two free throws that pegged the final count, only 21.2 ticks left.
Bolick paced NorthPort with 23 points, seven caroms, and 10 dimes while Mo Tautuaa, Garvo Lanete, reinforcement Mychal Ammons, and Ferrer had 22, 19, 15, and 11, respectively.