Express sink Batang PierBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
AFTER getting a dressing down from its coach at the half, Air21 went on a second half tear and tore Globalport to shreds, 87-72, for a franchise-best fourth straight victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.
Trailing by as many as 14 points in the second period, the Express clamped down hard on defense and used the three-point shot to great effect, leading by as many as 21 early in the fourth before rising to 5-5 overall.
“I don’t understand why they want me to get mad at halftime before they pick up the defensive intensity,” Air21 coach Franz Pumaren told reporters.
The loss was the seventh straight in a tail-ending 2-8 card for the Batang Pier, who unveiled a new import in Sylvester Morgan. Of those four wins in the Air21 run, two have come at the expense of Globalport.
Michael Dunigan had 22 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for the Express despite a long stint on the bench when he cramped up late in the third quarter.
But that didn’t stop the Express from breaking away as Wynne Arboleda and KG Canaleta connected with reckless abandon from afar that had Air21 taking leads of as many as 74-53 with less than five minutes gone in the fourth.