Petron Blaze won a fifth straight game by outplaying Barako Bull, 112-87, yesterday and all but clinched a place in the PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We played really well tonight,” Petron coach Gee Abanilla said. “(But) it kind of put us in a tricky situation. The danger for me is that if we believe the hype, the things we hear, they could be cause for complacency.
“We haven’t done anything special yet,” the young coach added. “Our goal is to make the semifinals (outright). We need to keep believing in the system, work on our chemistry and stay grounded.”
Elijah Millsap scored 31 points and had nine rebounds before sitting out the last 13:47 for the Boosters, and Arwind Santos had 20 points in 30 minutes as Petron raised its league-leading record to 5-1 while dealing the Energy just a second loss in five games.
In the second game, Meralco rode on Mario West’s big third quarter and put on a defensive show to turn back Alaska, 84-74.
West had 20 of his 32 points in the third period, outscoring the Aces, who had 19 in that stretch, by himself as the Bolts notched their third win in five matches.
Meralco also held Wendell McKines to 13 points and dropped Alaska to a 2-2 slate.
“We did a good job on McKines and we didn’t give him too many open looks,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.
Petron also made Michael Singletary and Emman Monfort bleed for their points, putting the entire Barako Bull offense in disarray in the early going, and went on top by 29 points in the third period.
The 5-foot-6 Monfort was held to just four points in the first half. He finished with 12 after coming into the game averaging close to 18 points.
Chris Lutz came off the bench and was the third Booster in twin digits with 19, and Abanilla had the luxury of clearing his bench early in the fourth period with the result beyond doubt.
Meanwhile, Globalport tries to nail a third win today when the Batang Pier clash with powerhouse San Mig Coffee at 5:15 p.m. at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay. Barangay Ginebra tests Air21 right after that.
PETRON 112—Millsap 31, Santos 20, Lutz 19, Kramer 9, Fajardo 6, Lassiter 6, Cabagnot 5, Lanete 4, Miranda 4, Deutchman 3, Yeo 3, Hubalde 2, Sison 0, Tubid 0, Ildefonso 0.
BARAKO 87—Singletary 26, Seigle 18, Buenafe 16, Monfort 12, Pennisi 8, Marcelo 4, Macapagal 3, Jensen 0, Bulawan 0, Weinstein 0, Intal 0, Cruz 0, Pena 0.
Quarters: 24-15, 58-38, 93-69, 112-87
MERALCO 84—West 32, Wilson 15, Hugnatan 12, Cardona 9, Guevarra 7, Hodge 6, Reyes 2, Ross 1, Timberlake 0, Artadi 0, Salvacion 0.
ALASKA 74—McKines 13, CAsio 12, Thoss 10, Baguio 10, Abueva 9, Hontiveros 9, Espinas 4, Dela Cruz 4, Jazul 3, Ramos 0, Eman 0, Belasco 0.
Quarters: 14-19, 32-30, 62-49, 84-74