NORTHPORT cruised to its third straight win and shored up its playoff drive in the PBA Commissioner's Cup, thanks to the superb outing of rookie William Navarro.
The Batang Pier rode on the career-best performance of the former Ateneo big man in claiming the scalp of erstwhile red-hot Converge FiberXers with a 112-97 victory to crack the Top 5 entering the homestretch of the eliminations.
Navarro, playing only in his fifth game since agreeing to sign with his mother ballclub, captained Northport's voyage to a big 15-point win behind his full line of 29 points, 17 rebounds, nine assists, a steal, and a block for his best all-around showing in a young pro career.
The 6-foot-6 forward shot a crisp 11-of-14 accuracy from the field including a 3-of-4 clip from downtown to cap off his near triple-double play in what could be among the best statlines for a PBA rookie in recent memory.
The import-like numbers were more than enough to earn for Navarro the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period Nov. 16-20.
He became the third Player of the Week this conference for Northport after Arvin Tolentino and Robert Bolick, as he eclipsed Meralco's Raymond Almazan and Terrafirma's Juami Tiongson for the weekly honor being handed out by the group regularly covering the PBA beat.
Navarro poured 21 points of his total output in the second half against Converge as Northport sailed away from a slim 52-49 cushion at the break to clinch a crucial win that steadied its playoff track.
With only a game left in their schedule, the Batang Pier are now at solo fifth spot with a 6-5 record to complete a turnaround after being down in the doldrums midway through the import-spiced tourney.
And Navarro had his imprint all over that streak with overall averages of 17.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists in five games so far.
Northport's win likewise snapped the seven-game winning streak of Converge, which played sans import Quincy Miller.