Petron stops B-Meg runBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
TAKING control early and finishing strong this time, Petron Blaze snapped out of the rut and brought down the hottest team in the PBA Governors’ Cup last night, routing B-Meg, 92-80, to get back in playoff contention at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jay Washington tied his career-high with 29 points, with his five fourth quarter points coming in the most critical stretch as the defending champion Boosters kept their dominance of the Llamados in improving to 4-3 and getting back in the middle of the pack.
Import Eddie Basden contributed 22 points and 11 rebounds and Denok Miranda fired 10 as the Boosters played aggressively on both ends all night and took the Llamados out of their comfort zone to snap B-Meg’s league-best run at five games.
In the first game, Rain or Shine scored a 100-90 win over Barako Bull. (See story on page A29.)
It was only the second loss in five games for the Llamados, who already booked a playoff berth as early as last week but dropped to second behind Rain or Shine.
The Elasto Painters earlier survived a minor injury to super rookie Paul Lee in the first half to pound out a 100-90 decision of Barako Bull and rise to 6-1. The Energy saw a two-game winning streak come to a halt and dropped to an even 3-3 record.
Washington dropped a triple with 4:14 left that finally put an end to a dogged B-Meg rally, taking to count to 85-76 before scoring again two Petron possessions later that made it 89-76 heading into the final 3:08.
The game featured the best defensive effort by the Boosters so far. Their last two losses, against Barangay Ginebra and Barako Bull, came in the stretch when they couldn’t protect their lead.
“I think we did a good job defensively,” coach Ato Agustin told reporters. “And of course, there was Jay-Wash, he let it all hang out there tonight.”
Washington scored 10 of his total in the second period when the Boosters turned a 23-all contest after the first quarter into a 50-41 lead at the half.
Marcus Blakely led the Llamados with 28, all but seven of them coming in the second half as he tried numerous times to get B-Meg back in the game almost by himself.
The game was also physical with play being interrupted several times to break up tangled players.
But the weirdest physical play happened in the second quarter when Jojo Duncil, despite not seeing action, was thrown out of the game because of a Flagrant Foul 2 call against B-Meg guard Josh Urbiztondo.
Duncil, a fresh transferee from Air21 who was actually with the Boosters when they upset Talk ‘N Text in last year’s title series, tripped Urbiztondo who was trying to save the ball from going out of bounds.
He will be summoned to the Commissioner’s Office and is expected to draw a heavy fine and a suspension.
PETRON 92—Washington 29, Basden 22, Miranda 10, Lutz 8, Yeo 8, Santos 7, Cabagnot 6, Pena 2, Hontiveros 0, Ildefonso 0.
B-MEG 80—Blakely 28, Yap 15, Reavis 12, Simon 9, Urbiztondo 8, Pingris 4, Intal 2, De Ocampo 2, Barroca 0, Villanueva 0.
Quarters: 23-23, 50-41, 75-62, 92-80