Petron blitzes Air21, grabs solo top spotBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Petron Blaze was so good on a night Air21 was so bad as the Boosters outplayed the Express, 112-86, for their third straight win in the elimination round of the PBA Governors’ Cup at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
The Boosters answered the second half horn with all guns ablaze, bloating an 11-point lead at intermission to as large as 27 to take the fight out of the Express and rise to 3-1 and gain the solo lead.
Air21 was in total disarray and found it hard to buy buckets in the second half even after coach Franz Pumaren had called three straight timeouts in less than two minutes in the third period to check the drought.
It was the third straight loss for the Express in a 1-3 card and the setback was the ugliest in the young tournament thus far.
Elijah Millsap scored 14 of his 27 points in the breakaway third period for the Boosters, who are involved in several trade rumors that could prove to be blockbuster deals if they push through.
“Wala akong alam diyan (I don’t know anything about it),” Petron coach Gee Abanilla said when asked if talks about Joseph Yeo going to Air21 were true.
Abanilla used Yeo in the last six minutes and the former La Salle gunner in the UAAP still finished with nine points.
June Mar Fajardo tossed in 17 points, the last four coming from two wide-open layups heading into the final two minutes which gave the Boosters a 112-79 lead. The 6-foot-9 rookie also had nine rebounds.
Zach Graham, in his second stint with Air21, paced the Express with 19 points but had six errors and just one assist.
PETRON 112—Millsap 27, Fajardo 17, Lassiter 13, Cabagnot 13, Santos 12, Lutz 10, Yeo 9, Lanete 8, Miranda 3, Deutchman 0, Kramer 0, Tubid 0.
AIR21 86—Graham 19, Canaleta 16, Omolon 10, Cortez 8, Manuel 6, Custodio 6, Sharma 6, Arboleda 5, Ritualo 4, Atkins 2, Sena 2, Isip 2, Menor 0.
Quarters: 24-22, 49-38, 82-60, 112-86