MANILA, Philippines – Petron Blaze is looking to end a three-game losing streak and boost their playoff hopes when they take on Barako Bull Energy in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
After putting together strong performances in the first half of the conference, the Blaze Boosters have lost three straight games even with the debut of new import Henry Sims.
Sims, who has played in the NBA Development League, tallied 23 points and 16 rebounds in his first game against Meralco, but the Blaze Boosters were beaten by the Bolts, 102-92.
“I’ve set the bar higher. I can’t play the same way like I did (against Meralco),” Sims said.
Sims was thoroughly outplayed by Meralco import Eric Dawson, who exploded for 57 points. He will once again be tested by Barako, who will parade a new import, DJ Mbenga, in tonight’s game.
Mbenga, most famous for playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, will have to work his way back to game shape, though Barako consultant Rajko Toroman still expects him to make an impact.
“He hasn’t played in three months, so he’s still not in good condition. But we expect him to provide additional inside presence for our team,” Toroman said.
A win tonight will allow the Blaze Boosters (6-5) to fan their hopes of gaining at least a quarterfinals berth.
Meanwhile, the Barako Bull, at 4-7, need to win all their remaining games to remain in contention for the playoffs.
Game time is at 4:15 p.m.