MANILA, Philippines – Air21 Express snapped its 4-game skid on Friday’s PBA Philippine Cup by pulling off a shocking 97-76 rout against powerhouse team Petron Blaze at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Express coach Franz Pumaren said he feels that his team caught the high-scoring Boosters on an off night.
|Air21's Rob Reyes tests Petron Blaze's defense on Friday's PBA Philippine Cup. The Express routed the Boosters, 97-76. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
“It’s one of those days. Sometimes everything goes right for a team and everything’s the opposite for the opponent. It happens,” said Pumaren in PBA.ph.
Five of his players churned out double digits in points, helping Air21 improve its record to 2 wins and 5 defeats.
Mark Isip poured in 22 points for the Express to go with his 7 rebounds and 2 assists.
Rob Reyes tallied 17 points on 8-for-9 field goal shooting, while Nitoy Omolon had 10. Bonbon Custodio and KG Canaleta added 12 each.
But Pumaren cited that the real key to their victory was their success in limiting their turnovers.
“We just made adjustments…As you can see, we limited our turnovers. It’s a no-brainer why we’re losing. It’s because of the way we’re throwing away the ball,” he explained.
Petron, which was led by Arwind Santos’ double-double effort, is second in the league in scoring in the current Philippine Cup with 93.7 points per game.
But against Air21, it recorded its lowest output in the conference.
Petron fell to a 3-3 record.
Santos finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Chris Lutz had 13.
Air21 97 - Isip 22, Reyes 17, Custodio 12, Canaleta 12, Omolon 11, Baclao 9, Wilson 5, Taha 4, Arboleda 3, Ritualo 2, Atkins 0.
Petron Blaze 76 - Santos 15, Lutz 13, Cabagnot 11, Washington 9, Mallari 6, Yeo 6, Lassiter 5, Lanete 4, Pena 4, Miranda 3, Sison 0, Duncil 0.
Quarterscores: 34-23, 48-42, 79-58, 97-76