Willie Miller, an ex-Tropang Texter, showed the defending champions why he is still one of the most exciting PBA veterans as he showed the way for Barako Bull with 27 points and 6 assists. It was Miller’s best scoring performance in 2 PBA seasons. The Energy were leading by 19 points at halftime. Jason Castro who scored 23 markers tried to rally the Texters and had cut the lead to 67-73 in the 4th quarter.
Miller quelled the rally as he got scoring support from Mick Pennisi‘s 18 points and rookie Dylan Ababou’s 20 points. Both Pennisi and Ababou grabbed 7 rebounds each in the game. Ryan Reyes finished 16 for Texters. Jimmy Alapag played his first game after his vacation and finished with 3 points. The win was the second for the Energy to tie with their victims at 2-1.
In the main game, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters used third quarter burst to pull away from a close and physical first half against the Meralco Bolts. The Painters who relied on their starters outscored the Bolts in the crucial 3rd period to grab a 22 point lead going into the final 12 minutes of the game.
Chico Lanete conspired with Mark Macapagal and big men Asi Taulava and Gabby Espinas to rally the undermanned Bolts in the final period. The Bolts scored 35 points in the quarter to erase the double digit lead and threaten to break the hearts of the Painters. Yeng Guiao though trusted his players and did not call a time out at crunch time. Paul Lee delivered 2 game changing assists to Larry Rodriguez in the final 42 seconds of the game when the Bolts cut the lead to 5 at 79-84 to extend their lead to 9 with 25.7 seconds left on the game clock. Meralco answered with 5 point binge to get close 84-88 but ran out of time. Gabe Norwood capped the scoring the free throw.
Norwood was adjudged the best player after top scoring for the winners with 14 and grabbing crucial rebounds down the stretch. Jeff Chan also scored 14 while rookie Paul Lee added 12. Larry Rodriguez was the 4th RoS player to finish in double figures with 11. The loss spoiled the brilliant shooting game of Mark Macapagal who had 20 points. Gabby Espinas and Asi Taulava had 19 and 16 markers respectively. Lanete finished with 14 points, majority of which were scored in the failed 4th quarter comeback.
Rain or Shine (3-1) now moves a half a game behind Petron (3-0). Bolts fell to 2-2. Fridays games will be between Baraku Bull and sister-team Shopinas.com in the first game while the main game features Talk ‘N Text facing Tim Cone and the B-Meg Llamados.
BARAKO 100 -Miller 27, Ababou 20, Pennisi 18, Allado 9, Maliksi 8, Najorda 6, Artadi 4, Arboleda 3, Pena 3, Salvacion 2, Salvador 0.
TALK ‘N TEXT 86 – Castro 23, Reyes 16, Dillinger 10, Aban 10, Peek 8, Fonacier 6, Carey 6, Aguilar 4, Alapag 3, Raymundo 0, Alvarez 0, Lao 0.
Quarterscores: 25-11, 52-33, 71-62, 100-86
RAIN OR SHINE 89 – Norwood 14, Chan 14, Lee 12, Rodriguez 11, Buenafe 9, Matias 8, Belga 6, Quinahan 6, Ibanes 5, Arana 4, Cruz 0.
MERALCO 84 – Macapagal 20, Espinas 19, Taulava 16, Lanete 14, Isip 6, Borboran 5, Ballesteros 2, Omolon 2, Timberlake 0, Yee 0.
Quarterscores: 22-21, 41-40, 71-49, 89-84
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