Globalport Batang Pier pulled off an upset against top seed Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 114-113, buoyed by Jonathan Grey’s 22-point performance

By Klyde Manansala | Photo courtesy of PBA images

Jonathan Grey had himself a night after capping off a 22-point output to keep Globalport Batang Pier from bowing out and force a do-or-die bout against top seed Rain or Shine Elasto Painters tomorrow.

Before escaping with a hard-earned 114-113 victory last night, Batang Pier head coach Pido Jarencio actually challenged the sophomore guard to unleash his best game in their bid to pull off an upset in the quarterfinals.

“Play defense and give me offense,” Jarencio said of what he asked Grey during their practice on Monday.

And Grey did answer to the call—12 of his 22 points came in the last frame including the dagger triple that sealed their biggest win in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

The Elasto Painters were in full control during most parts of the game after crafting a huge 16-point lead, 89-73, late in the third, but Jarencio’s squad refused to raise the white flag as they rallied an 18-2 run to tie the game at 91-all with 9:36 minutes left in the final period.

“I really thought that we wouldn’t be having practice anymore. I honestly didn’t think that we could win this game, especially after trailing big, but it was God’s will that we won and make this a do-or-die (series),” Jarencio said on Inquirer.net.

Grey struggled in the first two quarters after scoring just three points before finding his groove in the second half, tallying seven points in the third and completely going for a scoring outburst in the fourth where he nailed the game-winning three with 11.5 ticks left.

“I really thought that we wouldn’t be having practice anymore. I honestly didn’t think that we could win this game, especially after trailing big, but it was God’s will that we won and make this a do-or-die (series)

The Elasto Painters immediately called for time to set up the final play that could flip the game as they had three good looks on Gabe Norwood, import Reggie Johnson, and Maverick Ahanmisi, but none of whom were able to deliver as Batang Pier escaped with the victory to force a head-to-head rubber match tomorrow at MOA Arena.

Globalport import Malcolm White had a game-high 28 points and 16 boards while Stanley Pringle recorded a near triple-double with 21 points, nine rebounds, and nine dishes.

On the other hand, Johnson scored a team-high 24 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists to go with Raymond Almazan’s 17 points and 11 boards. James Yap also contributed 16 points.

If Globalport happens to win their twice-to-beat disadvantage against RoS tomorrow, they will just be the fourth eight-seeded team in PBA history to take down a top-ranked team in the quarterfinals.