MANILA, Philippines – Ivorian import Herve Lamizana made up for a lackluster first-half performance to steer Air21 past GlobalPort, 83-78, in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena on Wednesday.
Lamizana was held to just 2 points and 4 rebounds in the first quarter before he stepped up for a total of 22 markers, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks.
“It was a good thing that during the second half, our import already stepped up his game. I was hard on him during halftime and made him realize that this is an import-laden conference and imports should take over,” said Air21 head coach Franz Pumaren in the league's official website.
The Express were down by 5 points at the half, but things picked up for them after Lamizana got an earful from Pumaren.
“I told them at the half that I’m going to help this team win, and that’s what I did,” said the import.
Joseph Yeo finished with 21 points for Air21, while Asi Taulava added 14.
The victory ruined Pido Jarencio’s coaching debut for GlobalPort, which got 28 points and a whopping 26 rebounds from Evan Brock.
Rookie Justin Chua chipped in 10 points, but these weren’t enough to save the Batang Pier from the Express.
Pumaren said Lamizana can still improve if he shapes up for their upcoming games.
“Right now my main concern is the conditioning of our import. We were pacing him because I don’t think he’s really in tip-top shape, but he’s getting there,” said the Air21 coach.
Air21 83 – Lamizana 22, Yeo 21, Taulava 14, Cardona 11, Borboran 6, Villanueva 4, Burtscher 2, Sharma 2, Atkins 1, Jaime 0, Poligrates 0, Matias 0, Camson 0, Manuel 0.
GlobalPort 78 – Brock 28, Chua 10, Washington 9, Macapagal 8, Custodio 8, Cabagnot 4, Garcia 4, Romeo 3, Yee 2, Salva 2, Nabong 0, Ponferrada 0, Salvador 0.
Quarterscores: 22-14, 40-45, 66-56, 83-78.