PBA 44 review: Northport grinds out best year
Paul Lintag on Feb 04, 2020 04:16 PM
(Photo by Richard Esguerra)
You thought the PBA's 43rd season was a long one?
Yeah, the PBA's 44th season had it beat.
The 2019 PBA season started at the Philippine Arena on January 13, 2019. It officially ended January 17, 2020 when Barangay Ginebra won the Governors' Cup Finals.
Ironically, the Gin Kings won the first and last games of the 2019 season.
Anyway, the point is the PBA's 44th season was a marathon. And before a new one starts, it's time to take a look at how all 12 teams fared in the past year.
Today, we look at the Northport Batang Pier.
GRIT 'N GRIND
Looks like Northport finally found an identity it can embrace in the PBA.
All it took was a litte Puso, a little Pride, and a dash of Palaban.
The Batang Pier took after their head coach in Pido Jarencio and proceeded to grind out a rather solid season in 2019.
Northport was in the playoffs for all three conferences, and if the Batang Pier had some breaks go on their side, they would have been the legitimate surprise team of the year.
The Batang Pier snuck into the playoffs in the Philippine Cup, giving no. 2 Rain or Shine a great fight before bowing out.
In the Commissioner's Cup, Northport took over the no. 2 seed with a breakout performance, but a bad draw saw them get eliminated by eventual champion San Miguel in the quarterfinals.
The true breakout performance came in the Governors' Cup as the Batang Pier once again snuck into the playoffs and became just the fourth no. 8 team to upset a top-ranked squad in the quarterfinals in PBA history.
Northport's magical run ended in the semis however, losing in four games to eventual champion Ginebra.
Northport BATANG PIER in the PBA's 44th season
Philippine Cup: 5-6 (7th place, lost in Quarterfinals)
Commissioner's Cup: 9-2 (2nd place, lost in Quarterfinals)
Governors' Cup: 5-6 (8th place, lost in Semifinals)
Overall: 19 wins and 14 losses. Three playoff appearances, one semifinals appearance.
Northport has one big piece in Christian Standhardinger. As long as the Batang Pier keep him, they'll be contending in the upper half of the standings.
Sean Anthony is Northport's heart and soul while Robert Bolick will be a good wildcard for the team.
Bolick was a leading Rookie of the Year candidate last season until he injured his knee in the Governors' Cup. His injury coincided with Standhardinger's first game with Northport and so the Batang Pier never really had a chance to see how that combo played out for the rest of the year.
Once Bolick comes back healthy, Northport should just get better.
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