By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

THE semifinal cast for the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup is now complete with the Northport Batang Pier the last one to catch the semis bus after completing an upset of the top seeds NLEX Road Warriors with a 126-123 triple-overtime victory in their do-or-die match on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Northport, the lowest seed entering the playoffs, showed tremendous determination and big-game mentality in outlasting the Road Warriors in a classic game that resulted in NLEX exiting the tournament earlier than expected after having a solid showing in the elimination round.

The triumvirate of Sean Anthony, import Michael Qualls and Christian Standhardinger led the charge of the Batang Pier, who battled back from double-digit margins at many points in the game.

In winning over NLEX on Wednesday, Mr. Anthony exploded in the fourth quarter and in the extra periods to help will his team to the gutsy win.

Mr. Anthony finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds to win player of the game honors.

His exemplary performance complemented the all-game brilliance of Messrs. Qualls and Standhardinger.

Mr. Qualls had 31 points, 21 rebounds and five blocks while Mr. Standhardinger had 33 points, 23 rebounds and seven assists.

For NLEX it was Manny Harris who led the way with 43 points and 16 rebounds. Kiefer Ravena, meanwhile, had 22 points.

“Credit really goes to the players. This was our fourth knockout game and they showed tremendous desire, composure and commitment. They never gave up,” said a proud and relieved Northport coach Pido Jarencio after the game.

Northport with the win earned a date in the semifinals with the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings whom it battles in a best-of-five affair following the conclusion of the 30th Southeast Asian Games which the country is hosting.

The PBA, which lent its players to the Philippine team, takes a short break to give way to the biennial sporting meet.

Playing in the other semifinal bracket are the Meralco Bolts and TNT KaTropa.