G’port shocks Meralco, boosts playoff hopesBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Petron Blaze continues to look so good that it made another traditional powerhouse look so bad.
The Boosters won a sixth straight game by holding the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters to seven second quarter points for a crushing 122-88 victory that sealed Petron’s berth in the top four of the PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
From a 35-30 game, the Boosters zoomed away to a 63-37 lead at the half before racing to leads of as many as 41 early in the fourth period and dealing the Texters their fourth loss in six games.
Last night might have marked the final game of Tony Mitchell for the Texters, who are reportedly shopping around for a new import in time for their game against Air21 tomorrow at PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
“It was a big game for us because we formally clinched a twice-to-beat advantage,” Petron coach Gee Abanilla said. “We played good defense tonight; seven points for them in the second quarter was big for us.”
Earlier in the curtain-raiser, Globalport bounced back from losing what seemed like a won game by—ironically enough—winning what seemed like a lost one.
The Batang Pier came back from 20 points down in the second period and from 16 at the start of the third quarter to rip Meralco, 91-79, that assured the finest campaign in their young PBA existence.
Sol Mercado, Gary David and import Markeith Cummings presided upon a whirlwind third quarter start for the Batang Pier, whose third win in seven games gave them their best record in their first three conferences in Asia’s first play-for-pay league.
Globalport had won just a combined three games in the Philippine and Commissioner’s Cups and was eliminated both times. With last night’s win, they have a solid shot at advancing to the playoffs for the first time.
The Bolts dropped to 4-3 and into a second place tie with Barako Bull, Rain or Shine and San Mig Coffee.
“We used our loss last Sunday as a motivational tool, that was a won game,” Globalport coach Junel Baculi said, referring to a 98-97 loss to Barako Bull where they had control of the game most of the way.
GLOBALPORT 91—Cummings 32, David 21, Mercado 15, Washington 10, Taha 4, Miller 3, Mandani 2, Thiele 2, Salvador 2, Lingganay 0, Alonzo 0.
MERALCO 79—West 22, Hugnatan 19, Wilson 16, Hodge 9, Cardona 7, Reyes 4, Allado 2, Guevarra 0, Ross 0, Timberlake 0, Cortez 0, Salvacion 0.
Quarters: 13-23, 28-44, 60-63, 91-79
PETRON 122—Millsap 25, Cabagnot 20, Lassiter 18, Santos 14, Lanete 13, Fajardo 7, Kramer 6, Hubalde 6, Miranda 4, Ildefonso 4, Tubid 3, Lutz 2, Deutchman 0, Sison 0.
TALK ‘N TEXT 88—Al-Hussaini 18, Anthony 11, Peek 10, Castro 8, Mitchell 7, Aban 6, De Ocampo 6, Carey 6, Alapag 6, Fonacier 5, Ferriols 4, Aquino 1, Gamalinda 0, Alvarez 0.
Quarters: 35-30, 63-37, 94-63, 122-88