By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

THE Northport Batang Pier sailed to their first win in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner Cup after defeating the Alaska Aces, 103-81, in their debut outing on Wednesday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Getting solid contributions from various sources, Northport steadily tore down Alaska as it made its way to the victory while sending the Aces (1-1) to their first defeat in the midseason PBA tournament.

The Batang Pier had early control of the match, with Sean Anthony and Robert Bolick leading the charge.

They raced to a 28-21 lead in the first 12 minutes before creating further separation at the half, 51-42.

In the third period, Northport continued to maintain control despite a spirited attempt by Alaska to inch its way back as import Prince Ibeh made his presence felt on the offensive end.

The Batang Pier held a 67-53 lead midway into the frame.

But Alaska kept itself within striking distance the rest of the quarter, towed by rookie Jesper Ayaay, narrowing the gap to just nine points, 75-66, heading into the final canto.

With the outcome of the match still up for grabs, the two teams came out of the fourth swinging and looking to seize momentum and control in the homestretch.

Much what they had been doing all game long, the Batang Pier would beat the Aces to the punch, pushing their lead to double-digits once again, 89-74, with under six minutes to go.

From there it was all Northport, padding its lead to as much as 24 points, 103-79, and eventually booking win number one.

Mr. Anthony led the Batang Pier with 22 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists.

Mr. Ibeh had 19 points and 13 rebounds and Mr. Bolick also finished with 19 markers.

For Alaska it was import Chris Daniels who led with 21 points and 13 boards with Mr. Ayaay and Simon Enciso adding 10 points each.

“Credit to the guys for stepping up in the absence of Stanley Pringle. We have a quick turnaround till our next game and hopefully we clean some things up in our game,” said Mr. Anthony, named player of the game.

Mr. Pringle missed Northport’s debut outing because of injury (foot) while Alaska chose to sit out guard Chris Banchero because of back issues.

Northport next plays on Saturday, May 25, against the NLEX Road Warriors while Alaska takes on the TNT KaTropa also on the same day.