KG Canaleta fired a career high 41 points as Air21 tore Globalport apart, 113-92, and forged at least a tie for the last quarterfinal slot in the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Canaleta sparked an Air21 breakaway starting in the second quarter and the Express went on to snap a three-game losing streak to close out their elimination stint with a 5-9 record.
Idle Barako Bull can match that record if the Energy hurdle tough Rain or Shine tomorrow.
Should the Elasto Painters triumph and seal the No. 3 seeding, Air21 will march on to the quarterfinals to face top-ranked Talk ‘N Text, needing to beat the defending champion Tropang Texters two straight times to advance to the Final Four.
“I might have just woke up on the right side of the bed this morning,” Canaleta said in Filipino when reporters asked him the reason why he shot 6-of-9 from three-point range, 8-of-13 from two-point zone and made all but one of eight free throw attempts in 37 minutes.
“I noticed that I had scored a lot when the third quarter came,” added the five-time slam dunk champion, whose final basket was an alley-oop dunk off a Mike Cortez pass.
Canaleta’s total was just a point shy of the highest scoring game in the league in two years, which Globalport’s Gary David, then playing for defunct Powerade, churned out in a 108-92 victory against Petron.
Canaleta hit 16 points in the second quarter alone and tallied 21 for the half, which was equal to his conference-high. He then polished off the Batang Pier in the fourth with 12 more points, including a four-point play that came before that alley-oop dunk.
Globalport lost for the eighth straight time and dropped to 1-12.
AIR21 113—Canaleta 41, Sena 18, Reyes 12, Arboleda 8, Omolon 7, Wilson 6, Cortez 5, Ritualo 5, Custodio 4, Isip 4, Andaya 2, Baclao 1, Atkins 0.
GLOBALPORT 92—Al-Hussaini 20, David 16, Manuel 11, Salvador 11, Mandani 8, Guevarra 5, Antonio 5, Yee 4, Miller 4, Lingganay 3, Vanlandingham 3, Vergara 2, Deutchman 0, Cruz 0, Crisano 0.
Quarters: 30-31, 60-55, 87-67, 113-92