MANILA—Danny Ildefonso, the only remnant of the San Miguel Beer squad that ruled the PBA with an iron hand in the last decade, was in vintage form in leading Petron Blaze past Grand Slam-seeking Talk ‘N Text Sunday night.
Ildefonso scored the Boosters’ final four points, including the game-winning 15-foot jumper from the right corner at the buzzer as Petron nipped the Tropang Texters, 89-88, for a 1-0 lead in the Governors’ Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ildefonso finished with seven points in the fourth period as the Boosters completed a comeback from 16 points down to wrest momentum in the series the Texters were tipped to dominate.
“It was God who took and made that shot,” the humble former two-timeMVP, who has appeared in 16 title series and won seven championships, said in Filipino. “I guess it was God’swill that we win.”
Import Anthony Grundy completed a triple double with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.
“They are still heavily favored,” coach Ato Agustin said of the Texters. “We’re still the underdogs because we’re undermanned. But as I told you guys, even if the cliché is so old, there are only fivemen on the floor (for each side) at any time.”
Petron’s defense was the key to the win as the Boosters held the usually prolific Scottie Reynolds to just four points in 36minutes.
Arwind Santos made just 12 points, but provided the Boosters hustle all night. He helped Ildefonso double team Larry Fonacier in a TNT inbound that led to an Ildefonso steal and layup for an 87-86 lead, with 17.4 ticks left.
The Texters, who are bidding to become just the fourth franchise to complete a Triple Crown sweep, regained the upper hand after Jimmy Alapag found a wide-open Ryan Reyes underneath for a short stab with 10.1 seconds left, 88-87.
Petron then gave the ball to Grundy, who milked the clock and drew a double team before finding Ildefonso for thewinning shot.
Meanwhile, Powerade won the Rookie Draft lottery and now has a very good chance of tabbing a player that could turn the fortunes of the franchise around.
Air21 will pick second with Meralco getting the third overall choice.
PETRON 89— Salvacion 19, Grundy 17, Ildefonso 13, Santos 12, Miranda 12, Cabagnot 9, Pennisi 5, Duncil 2, Baclao 0, Hubalde 0.
TALK N’ TEXT 88— Alapag 18, Fonacier 16, De Ocampo 13, Williams 10, Reyes 8, Castro 7, Carey 6, Peek 6, Reynolds 4, Yee 0, Dillinger 0, Aban 0.