MANILA, Philippines – Barako Bull leaned on Josh Urbiztondo's endgame heroics to beat Air21, 91-86, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the SM Mall of Asia on Friday.
Urbiztondo, who had a lackluster performance in the first 3 quarters, scored 13 of his 15 points in the final period to help his team overcome a 66-77 deficit.
After stepping in for an ailing Jonas Villanueva in the 4th, the “Fireball” sank 3 triples, converted a 3-point play and sealed the win for the Energy Cola through the free-throw line.
Urbiztondo earlier went 0 out of his 6 in his attempts from beyond the arc.
“Josh didn’t play good in the first 3 quarters, but he was one of the best in the end,” said Barako Bull consultant Rajko Toroman on PBA.ph.
Evan Brock topscored for Barako Bull with 23 points, while JC Intal chipped in 16.
It was the Energy Cola's 3rd win in 4 starts, tying idle Petron Blaze for second place in the standings.
Air21, on the other hand, dropped to 1-2.
After being down 18-27 in the first quarter, the Express seized the lead in the next 2 periods for a 66-61 advantage at the end of the third canto.
But Urbiztondo found his groove 7 minutes left in the game and helped Barako Bull to a 30-20 exchange with Air21.
Nino Canaleta brought the Express within 86-88 by rattling in a triple 19 seconds before regulation.
However, the "Fireball" quashed Air21's uprising by converting both of his charities near the end of the game.
Michael Dunigan paced the Express with 30 points and 19 rebounds, while KG Canaleta and Mike Cortez had at least 14 points each.
Barako Bull 91 – Brock 23, Intal 16, Urbiztondo 15, Seigle 10, Villanueva 9, Maliksi 7, Pennisi 5, Kramer 3, Allado 2, Macapagal 1, Weinstein 0.
Air21 86 – Dunigan 30, Canaleta 15, Cortez 14, Ritualo 7, Arboleda 6, Wilson 4, Custodio 4, Isip 4, Omolon 2, Atkins 0, Sena 0, Baclao 0, Menor 0, Reyes 0.
Quarterscores: 27-18, 46-47, 61-66, 91-86