Monfort shines anew as Energy rout KingsBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
EMAN Monfort reset his PBA career-high for the third straight game and led Barako Bull to a third straight win last night, a thorough 104-91 ripping of Barangay Ginebra that gave the Energy a share of the lead in the Governors’ Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 5-foot-6 Monfort tossed in 25 points and combined with import Mike Singletary in a torrid third quarter that set the tone for the rout for the Energy, who rose to 3-1 and caught idle Petron Blaze at the top.
Barangay Ginebra slid to 1-2, tied with Talk ‘N Text, which took a 92-86 loss at the hands of Mario West and the Meralco Bolts in the first game.
West also had a career game, shooting 47 points and helping the rest of the Bolts hold the Tropang Texters scoreless in the final 2:05 to hammer out the win that snapped a two-game slide for a 2-2 card overall.
Singletary tossed in 38 points that went with 17 rebounds and four assists with Ronjay Buenafe and Danny Seigle also finishing in twin digits for coach Rajko Toroman.
Dior Lowhorn led the Gin Kings with 30 points.
Japeth Aguilar, the revelation for Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba-Asia Championship, was taken to the hospital after injuring his right knee in the first period.
West dropped 18 of his points in the fourth quarter in a mammoth demolition effort that spoiled the return of national stars Jason Castro, Larry Fonacier and Ranidel de Ocampo to the Talk ‘N Text lineup.
It was the second win in four matches for the Bolts, who got 18 points and 15 rebounds from rookie Cliff Hodge. Meralco completed a comeback from as many as 13 points down early in the third period.
Talk ‘N Text dropped to 1-2 overall even with Castro and Fonacier finishing in twin digits and import Tony Mitchell shooting 32. De Ocampo struggled to just two points.
“The best way to compete against a star-studded team (like Talk ‘N Text) was to focus on defense,” Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio said. “I thought that was our only chance and our defense bailed us out tonight.”
The Tropang Texters had crept to within 86-87 with 2:05 left after two Castro free throws off Hodge, only for their offense to sour the rest of the way.
West drained four triples, was 14-of-19 from two-point zone, and made 7-of-12 free throws.
But the game’s biggest shot—and West’s most creative for the night—came at the 1:41 mark when he spun off Ryan Reyes to enter the heart of the Talk ‘N Text defense before hitting a long looping layup that made it 89-86.
Meanwhile, Petron Blaze shoots for a fourth straight win when the Boosters slug it out with sister squad San Mig Coffee at 6 p.m. today at Mall of Asia Arena.
Rain or Shine battles Air21 at 3:45 p.m.
MERALCO 92—West 47, Hodge 18, Guevarra 12, Hugnatan 6, Vanlandingham 3, Wilson 2, Timberlake 2, Allado 2, Ross 0, Reyes 0, Salvacion 0.
TALK ‘N TEXT 86—Mitchell 32, Castro 18, Al-Hussaini 11, Fonacier 11, Anthony 6, Reyes R. 4, De Ocampo 2, Reyes J. 0, Aban 0, Carey 0.
Quarters: 26-16, 37-47, 62-67, 92-86
BARAKO BULL 104—Singletary 38, Monfort 25, Buenafe 15, Seigle 10, Marcelo 5, Cruz 3, Pena 3, Intal 2, Pennisi 2, Macapagal 1, Jensen 0.
BRGY. GINEBRA 91—Lowhorn 30, Mamaril 14, Caguioa 13, Baracael 11, Wilson 7, Tenorio 4, Helterbrand 4, Urbiztondo 3, Ellis 2, Labagala 2, Aguilar 1, Ababou 0, Maierhofer 0.
Quarters: 26-22, 50-42, 85-67, 104-91