Petron Blaze rolls past Talk ‘N Text, seizes twice-to-beat edge in quartersBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—Petron Blaze was at its best while Talk ‘N Text was held to its worst game of the 38th PBA Governors’ Cup Wednesday night.
The streaking Boosters picked the slumping Tropang Texters apart with a masterful 122-88 rout to assure themselves a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals as fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum left early before a lopsided encounter.
“It was a big game for us because we formally clinched a twice-to-beat advantage; I think that would give us additional chance of making it to the semifinals,” said Petron coach Gee Abanilla. “We played good defense and at one point we held Talk ‘N Text to just seven points.”
Abanilla was referring to the second period where his Boosters pulled away after outscoring the Texters, 28-7, for a 63-37 halftime lead.
Elijah Millsap outplayed his counterpart Tony Mitchell with 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Mitchell had a short night as he was benched in the second half after a poor outing in the first half with seven points on three-of-11 shooting.
Petron, which rolled to its sixth straight win after losing its first game, kept its foot on the pedal in the second half as it padded on to its even more—reaching 42 points, 107-65, at the 8:26 mark of the final frame after a wide-open triple by Alex Cabagnot.
Cabagnot finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Rabeh Al-Hussaini paced TNT, which is in danger of possibly missing the quarterfinal round as it fell to 2-4.
“We just want to try to keep grounded. Learn what we still have to learn. I think right now we could experiment on things we want to do offensively and defensively. I think that’s one luxury that we have right now.”