PBA: Surging Northport takes down top-ranked NLEX to force do-or-die
Paul Lintag on Nov 25, 2019 06:44 PM
Import Michael Qualls was more than effective for Northport, scoring 39 points on top of 16 rebounds. (Photo by Josh Albelda)
NLEX’s woes have carried over into the playoffs.
No. 8 Northport pulled off the first upset of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals, pounding on the Road Warriors for a dominant 115-90 victory Monday at the Big Dome.
The surging Batang Pier were sharp right from the start, and as the Road Warriors fell apart with consecutive flagrant fouls in the final five minutes, Northport has pushed NLEX to the limit, forcing a knockout game for the semifinals on Wednesday.
Import Michael Qualls was more than effective for Northport, scoring 39 points on top of 16 rebounds. He landed the final blow with a powerful one-hand slam late even after he was on the receiving end of a hit to the back of the head from NLEX center Poy Erram.
Following a wild drive, Qualls stepped on NLEX’s Paul Varilla as they were falling to the floor. That apparently didn’t sit well for Erram who charged at the opposing import, hitting him with an elbow to the back of his head.
Erram was ejected with a flagrant foul penalty 2. Varilla was also hit with an F2 for a separate hit on Christian Standhardinger during the incident. In the play after, Philip Paniamogan was slapped with an F1 after driving an elbow to the gut of Standhardinger.
After Qualls, Standhardinger also had a double-double of 24 points and 13 rebounds for Northport in the win.
Following an 8-1 start, NLEX has lost three straight games, including this playoffs opener. Two of those losses were to the Batang Pier.
JR Quinahan led the way for the Road Warriors with 20 points. Kiefer Ravena added 16 in his PBA playoff return.
NorthPort 115 - Qualls 39, Standhardinger 24, Anthony 12, Ferrer 9, King 8, Escoto 5, Taha 5, Elorde 5, Lanete 3, Cruz 3, Mercado 2.
NLEX 90 - Quinahan 20, Ravena 16, Harris 12, Cruz 11, Erram 6, Soyud 6, Alas 5, Paniamogan 4, Varilla 3, Galanza 3, Ighalo 2, Miranda 2, Fonacier 0.
Quarterscores: 34-24, 61-40, 83-64, 115-90.
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