Energy grab solo lead; Express seize first winBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
BARAKO Bull came charging back from 10 points down in the last two minutes of regulation and sustained the rampage in overtime for a 98-88 win that installed the Energy as the unlikely early leaders in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Josh Urbiztondo and Danny Seigle presided over the dizzying closing run as the Energy forced overtime at 86-all before pummeling the Batang Pier in the extension for their second straight win.
Urbiztondo scored 24 points, 11 of them in the fourth period, and Seigle opened the extra period with five straight points that took the fight out of the Batang Pier.
The loss was the first in two games for Globalport, which led, 86-76 after a Gary David layup with two minutes left in regulation.
But the Batang Pier would not score again until the 3:08 mark of the extension, which actually proved to be their only basket in the final seven minutes of the game.
Japeth Aguilar scattered 23 points and had 10 rebounds, Sol Mercado scored 19 that went with a career-high 16 assists and David also had 19 for Globalport.
But the Barako Bull defense shut down the rest of the Batang Pier with import Justin Williams shooting just 12 points while grabbing 27 rebounds, the most by anyone thus far this season.
“It was a miracle that we won this game,” said Serbian consultant Rajko Toroman, who celebrated his 58th birthday yesterday.
Toroman also downplayed Aguilar’s offensive explosion, saying that, in effect, the Energy allowed him to score.
Underdog squads continued to start with aplomb, with Air21 nipping crowd-darling Barangay Ginebra later in the night, 74-70.
“It’s always a nice feeling beating a team like Ginebra, with their star-studded lineup.” Air21 coach Franz Pumaren said. “We won by playing good defense.”
Import Michael Dunigan scored 28 points, had 19 rebounds and five blocks to pace the Express.
BARAKO 98—Brock 25, Urbiztondo 24, Villanueva 18, Seigle 16, Maliksi 9, Macapagal 6, Kramer 0, Pennisi 0, Allado 0.
GLOBALPORT 88—Aguilar 23, Mercado 19, David 19, Williams 12, Miller 7, Yee 5, Salvador 3, Deutchman 0, Juntilla 0.
Quarters: 21-19, 35-38, 60-58, 86-86, 98-88
AIR21 74—Dunigan 26, Wilson 13, Cortez 13, Reyes 7, Isip 7, Custodio 5, Menor 2, Canaleta 1, Sena 0, Baclao 0, Omolon 0, Ritualo 0, Arboleda 0.
BRGY GINEBRA 70—Caguioa 26, Hill 17, Helterbrnd 10, Wilson 7, Ellis 3, Tenorio 3, Baracael 2, Mamaril 2, Taha 0, Jensen 0, Maierhofer 0, Hatfield 0.
Quarters: 17-13, 31-21, 48-50, 74-70