Air21's Asi Taulava fights his way to the paint. Photo by Nuki Sabio
MANILA - Air21 dominated Barako Bull to post a trouble-free 101-86 win and take solo lead in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Saturday at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.
The Express are now on top of the standings with a 2-0 slate, their best start since joining the league as Shopinas.com 3 years ago.
Import Dominique Sutton was dominant with 24 points and 16 rebounds, while veteran center Asi Taulava tallied 22 points and 12 rebounds for Air21.
Express coach Franz Pumaren said the team played with cohesion and familiarity with their system as showed by their 8 turnovers, the lowest in the franchise’s record.
After trailing the Express, 45-52, at the half, the Energy Cola pulled within 60-62 midway the third.
Barako Bull, however, failed to sustain the run in the final period, and even lost Eric Wise along the way after the import bailed out following a collision with Sutton.
Wise settled for 24 points, while Jeric Fortuna managed to post 13 points for Barako Bull, which fell to its second straight loss in three starts.
Air21 101- Sutton 24, Taulava 22, Yeo 17, Cardona 16, Ramos 8, Camson 8, Villanueva 3, Atkins 3, Boborfan 0, Jaime 0, Poligrates 0, Burtscher 0.
Barako Bull 86 — Wise 24, Fortuna 13, Lastimosa 10, Najorda 10, Buenafe 10, Miranda 4, Jensen 2, Wilson 2, Marcelo 2, Thiele 0, Deutchman 0, Intal 0.
Quarterscores: 25-22; 52-45; 80-72; 101-86