Tubid lifts Barako past Air21By Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Ronald Tubid scored four of Barako Bull’s final five points and keyed a 90-87 victory over Air21 in the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The veterans-laden Energy Cola got more than what they bargained for from the much-maligned Air21 lineup with the outcome in the balance until Tubid’s heroics put Barako Bull in the company of opening-day winner Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
Tubid capped a 19-point night with a follow-up of a Rico Villanueva miss in the last 9.2 seconds before KG Canaleta missed the potential overtime-forging triple from deep left corner for Air21 as time expired.
“We have a lot of new faces and we have to build on our chemistry as soon as possible,” Barako Bull coach Junel Baculi told reporters. “We struggled defensively the whole night.
“We didn’t respect them in the first half,” Baculi continued. “I told my players at halftime that we have to respect their (Express’) ability.”
Sean Anthony, a new acquisition coming from Global Port by way of B-Meg, scattered 18 points that went with nine rebounds and five assists, and Doug Kramer had 14 and 10 for Barako Bull.
Mick Pennisi added 11 and Villanueva, a member of the Smart Gilas-Pilipinas team, contributed seven points that went with a night-high 14 boards.
“We last played together as a team about two weeks ago, because Rico was with (the national squad),” Baculi said. “He is still groping to cope with our system.”
Barako Bull played without top scorer Danny Seigle, who was out because of the flu, and Baculi said that Tubid, with the departure of former two-time MVP Willie Miller, is now one of the team’s main offensive guns together with Seigle.
“With the exit of Willie (to Global Port), it’s now Ronald’s turn to step up to the plate,” Baculi said.
The Express had a solid chance at winning in the end until two Mark Isip misses inside the final minute and crucial fumbles by Isip and Nonoy Baclao, who had a career-high 18 points, led to that Tubid putback.
BARAKO BULL 90—Tubid 19, Anthony 18, Kramer 14, Pennisi 11, Urbiztondo 8, Najorda 7, Villanueva 7, Yap 4, Marcelo 2, Cervantes 0, Cruz 0.
AIR21 87—Baclao 18, Wilson 17, Isip 16, Canaleta 16, Arboleda 7, Custodio 4, Omolon 4, Sena 3, Taha 2, Atkins 0, Ritualo 0.
Quarters: 26-27, 49-48, 71-69, 90-87