Game today (Cuneta Astrodome)
4 p.m. – Alaska vs Ginebra
MANILA, Philippines - Petron Blaze banked on a balanced offensive throughout the second half when Barako Bull fought tooth and nail to narrow a widening gap and took a 107-100 in the deciding game of their PLDT MyDSL PBA Philippine Cup best-of-three quarterfinals series at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City last night.
From a 52-all deadlock at the half, Arwind Santos, Junmar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot provided superior firepower early in the third quarter as the Boosters took a 69-56 advantage and never looked back on their way to the semifinals against second-seeded Rain or Shine.
Barako Bull, drawing heavy artillery from Rico Maierhofer and a couple of three-pointers from Mick Pennisi before he was ejected on his second technical in the last seven minutes of play, closed the gap at 98-94 in the last three minutes of play.
Cabagnot again fought off Barako’s firepower with two charities and a drive to the basket, and a Chris Lutz charity after a Maierhofer drive towed the Petron Blazers to safety, 105-98, with only 33.8 seconds left to play.
Cabagnot, Santos and Fajardo churned out double-double numbers, with Cabagnot hitting 22 points and 12 assists, Santos 17 markers and 12 boards and Fajardo 17 rebounds and 14 points.
“Honestly, it’s really tough to play Barako. They have a lot of veteran players and they have a strong team. They did a good job in keeping us at bay but we’re okay at the finish,” said Petron Blaze coach Gee Abanilla.
“I have to commend specifically our guards. They set the tempo. They were quick on transition and opened a lot of opportunities for us,” Abanilla also said.
Abanilla rotated only nine men who all did a yeoman’s job, negating Maierhofer’s career-best 21-point output and JC Intal’s 20-point performance.
Earlier the battle of champs between reigning all-Filipino titlist Talk n Text and Governors Cup titleholder San Mig Coffee boiled down to a deciding game.
Talk n Text halted San Mig Coffee’s five-game streak and kept its “Four-Peat” bid alive as the Tropang Texters tripped the Mixers, 82-77, to force a sudden death in their best-of-three quarterfinal series.
FIBA Asia best guard Jayson Castro teamed up with KG Canaleta to give Talk n Text a good start and later joined forces with Ryan Reyes to deliver the finishing kick that foiled San Mig’s attempt to close out the series.
The two teams meet again tomorrow in a knockout match determining which of them advance to the Final Four versus the winner of the Barangay Ginebra-Alaska Milk matchup.
Castro rattled in seven straight points then Reyes banged away back-to-back three-pointers keeping Talk n Text intact in the face of San Mig’s determined bid to turn the game around at the finish.
NOTES: Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa was fined P5,000 for his flagrant infraction against Alaska’s Calvin Abueva in their game Wednesday.
Talk n Text 82 – Castro 20, Reyes R. 13, Canaleta 13, Seigle 11, De Ocampo 9, Williams 8, Peek 4, Fonacier 2, Carey 2, Aban 0, Baclao 0, Alapag 0.
San Mig Coffee 77 – Devance 13, Barroca 12, Simon 12, Reavis 12, Mallari 7, Pingris 6, Melton 6, Yap 5, Sangalang 4, De Ocampo 0.
Quarterscores: 19-21, 38-34, 62-52, 82-77
Petron 107 – Cabagnot 22, Lutz 18, Santos 17, Fajardo 14, Lassiter 11, Tubid 10, Ross 8, Kramer 7, Lanete 0.
Barako 100 – Maierhofer 21, Intal 20, Miranda 15, Miller 11, Peña 11, Pennisi 8, Lastimosa 6, Jensen 4, Wilson 2, Buenafe 2, Isip 0.
Quarterscores: 25-18, 52-52, 107-100