BARAKO Bull coach Rajko Toroman wasn’t ashamed to admit it.
“I have to admit, we were very lucky today,” Toroman said after his Energy eked out a 98-97 come-from-behind win over Globalport last night to make it to the quarterfinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Globalport was the better team for three quarters,” added the Serb as Barako Bull rose to 4-2 after pinning a third straight loss in a 2-4 card on the Batang Pier
“We didn’t stop to play and we played well only in the fourth quarter. But you have to deserve it to be lucky.”
Idle league-leader Petron Blaze was the first team to make the playoffs after winning its last five games for a 5-1 card.
The Energy trailed behind by as many as 18 points in the third but opened up the fourth period with a 15-2 run and forged ahead to stay at 96-94 after a breakdown in the Globalport defense left sharpshooter Mark Macapagal wide open for a three with 1:55 left.
Mark Singletary scored 27 of his 43 points in the final two quarters and Danny Seigle had all his 10 points in the fourth as the Energy stayed in the game despite a hot Globalport offense in the third period.
Singletary slashed the heart of the Globalport defense for a right-handed flush with 7:13 left that knotted the count for the first time in a long, long while at 85 and completed Barako Bull’s climb from a 57-75 deficit.
Barako Bull then shut down Markeith Cummings in the fourth quarter, holding the Globalport import to just four after he had shot in twin digits in each of the first three periods.
Cummings, who finished with 40 points, collared the rebound after a Singletary miss with about six seconds left.
But he failed to call a timeout that Globalport still had, electing to pass to Sol Mercado, who was forced to throw a wild shot from just about midcourt.
Eman Monfort, the revelation of the tournament thus far, made it 98-95 with two free throws off a Jay Washington foul heading into the final 43.6, before Washington sliced the deficit to what turned out to be the final count with a short stab with 30.6 left.
“We won with a lot of heart,” Toroman said. “It was almost impossible for us to win (this game). But I guess, in this conference, we deserve to be one-game-lucky.”
BARAKO 98—Singletary 43, Macapagal 11, Seigle 10, Buenafe 9, Intal 7, Pennisi 5, Pena 5, Monfort 4, Cruz 2, Villanueva 2, Jensen 0, Weinstein 0, Gonzales 0.
GLOBALPORT 97—Cummings 40, Mercado 16, David 11, Taha 10, Washington 9, Belencion 4, Miller 3, Mandani 2, Salvador 2, Hayes 0, Thiele 0.
Quarters: 23-27, 43-55, 68-83, 98-97