Sean Anthony scored 30 points, including the game-winning basket in the last extension, as NorthPort beat NLEX 126-123 in triple overtime in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup at Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
NorthPort, the fourth No.8 seed in league history to topple the top-ranked team, faces Barangay Ginebra in the best-of-5 semifinals, which begin on Dec. 14 at the Big Dome.
The other pairing between Meralco and TNT starts on Dec. 13 at Ynares Center in Antipolo.
After Kiefer Ravena put NLEX ahead on a drive 123-122 with 22 seconds left in the game, Anthony responded with a layup of his own going left to give NorthPort back the lead.
Without calling a timeout, NLEX set up its offense but Jericho Cruz ended up air-balling his attempt from downtown.
Forced to stop the clock, Ravena fouled Standhardinger sending him to the line where he iced the game with 2 free throws.
Standhardinger added 33 points and pulled down 23 rebounds in a record 61 minutes of playing time, and Michael Qualls chipped in 31 points, 21 rebounds and 5 blocks in 63 minutes for NorthPort, which is now 5-2 since acquiring Qualls.
It was a game that saw both teams go back and forth after a regulation that saw NLEX dominate and lead by as many as 16 points.
Free throws — first, a pair by Qualls, then two by Cruz — sent the game to the first and second overtimes.
How the third extension came to be was more dramatic, thanks to an exchange of 3-pointers by Kevin Ferrer and Philip Paniamogan.
Answering Ferrer's triple that put NorthPort up 116-113, Paniamogan buried an open corner 3 off a Manny Harris assist to force an extra 5 minutes.
On two occasions NLEX trailed in the third overtime, Ravena helped the Road Warriors regain the upper hand on back-to-back one-on-one plays, before Anthony gave NorthPort the lead for good.
Ravena finished with 22 points, but shot just 6 of 20 from the field.
Harris tallied 43 points and 16 rebounds for NLEX, which missed the services of Poy Erram, who was suspended one game after a flagrant foul 2 in the teams' first meeting on Sunday.
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