Petron stuns Meralco, ties for top spotBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
GAMES TODAY (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m.—Barako Bull vs Alaska
6:30 p.m.—B-Meg vs Barangay Ginebra
ANTIPOLO—Jay-Wash (Jay Washington) is back.
The usually soft-spoken Petron coach Ato Agustin declared this last night after Washington sparked the Boosters to a 101-88 decision of the Meralco B-Boys and a piece of the early PBA Governors’ Cup lead at the Ynares Center here.
Washington scored 12 of his 19 points in the third period while presiding over a Petron breakaway from a 52-all game.
“Jay-Wash is already getting his rhythm back,” Agustin added of his 6-foot-7 shooting forward who also collared nine rebounds in just 25 minutes of action.
The B-Boys fought hard all night and were in the thick of the fight until early in the third period when they forged the 11th and last deadlock at 52 only to fail to keep in step with the Boosters when they made a run.
Eddie Basden had 24 points and 10 rebounds and three other locals finished with 11 points or more as Petron continued to uphold their status as the powerhouse title-favorite.
Champ Oguchi paced the B-Boys with 24 and Asi Taulava scattered 19, but Meralco missed one big gun offensively after Mac Cardona was held to eight points by the Petron defense on 4-of-10 shooting from the field in 40 minutes.
Meralco fell to 1-1 after failing to score a follow-up to an impressive conquest of sister team and reigning titlist Talk ‘N Text last week.
Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra, with Mark Caguioa back at the helm, tries to rejoin Petron and idle Rain or Shine on top and pin a second straight loss on B-Meg when action returns to the Smart Araneta Coliseum today.
Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. moments after Barako Bull, which is also seeking to stay unbeaten, tackles Alaska in the 4:30 p.m. curtain-raiser.
Caguioa played his first game in nearly two months on Wednesday and shot 15 points, inspiring the Gin Kings no end.
Ginebra also has a talented import in Cedric Bozeman, and the Kings certainly have an even chance against the reigning Commissioner’s Cup champion Llamados.
B-Meg will try to bounce back from a 94-100 overtime loss to ROS two nights ago.
PETRON BLAZE 101—Basden 24, Washington 19, Cabagnot 16, Santos 12, Miranda 11, Lutz 7, Yeo 7, Lanete 3, Ildefonso 2, Reyes 0, Pena 0.
MERALCO 88—Oguchi 24, Taulava 19, Mercado 17, Cardona 8, Ross 7, Hugnatan 7, Artadi 4, Reyes 2, Macapagal 0.
Quarters: 20-22, 42-42, 72-64, 101-88