Barako Bulls claws back to nip Air21 behind Urbiztondo’s efforts


Michael Dunigan vs Evan Brock. PBA IMAGES / Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines — Barako Bull used a stifling finishing kick to hack out a 91-86 comeback win over Air21 in the 2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on Friday.

Guard Josh Urbiztondo’ relentlessness on both sides of the floor, leading to a crucial steal and two game-winning triples of his own, lit a fire under the Energy in the final five minutes.

Staring at a 71-81 deficit, Barako Bull went on a 16-0 run to seize the lead for good and notched its third win.

Urbiztondo nailed a triple to tie the game at 81, then he and Mick Pennissi uncorked back-to-back triples with 1:50 left to seal the win.

“This team, they have character and they fight until the end. We worked a way to win this game,” said coaching consultant Rajko Toroman.

Evan Brock led with 23 points while the returning JC Intal added 16 points for the Energy. Urbiztondo notched 15 points, five assists and four steals.

“Intal was great in the first half,” Toroman said proudly of the forward, who was traded from San Mig Coffee this conference.

Air21, which even led 77-66 with eight minutes to go after a bucket by its import Mike Dunigan, dropped to below .500 with a 1-1 record.

Dunigan finished with 30 points and Niño Canaleta added 15 — including a last triple which put the Express within three with 18.4 seconds left.

But Urbiztondo settled the outcome for Barako Bull with two charities in the ensuing play.

The scores:

BARAKO 91 – Brock 23, Intal 16, Urbiztondo 15, Seigle 10, Villanueva 9, Maliksi 7, Pennisi 5, Kramer 3, Allado 2, Macapagal 1, Weinstein 0.

AIR21 86 – Dunigan 30, Canaleta 15, Cortez 14, Ritualo 7, Arboleda 6, Wilson 4, Custodio 4, Isip 4, Omolon 2, Atkins 0, Sena 0, Baclao 0, Menor 0, Reyes 0.

Quarters: 27-18, 46-47, 61-66, 91-86

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