Barako Bull upset defending champion San Mig Coffee, 105-100, last night to halt a six-game slide and stay alive for a playoff berth in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Josh Urbiztondo, San Mig’s former starting point guard, snapped out of a long slump to pump in 22 points, including the insurance free throw with 13 seconds left as the Energy improved to 4-7.
Urbiztondo unloaded four triples in backing up hardworking import Evan Brock, who had 25 points, 15 boards and two blocks as the Energy repeated over the Mixers.
San Mig lost its first clash with the Energy when it played without an import just two days into the tournament. But this latest setback to Barako Bull put San Mig into a tie for seventh spot with Air21 at 5-6 after the Express lost to Rain or Shine, 94-83, earlier.
“We are still alive, we had 10-15 percent chances before this game,” Rajko Toroman, the Barako Bull coach, said. “After this game, we have a 50 percent chance to make the quarterfinals, where it will all be open. This team knows how to play basketball.”
Allein Maliksi and Mick Pennisi scored 19 points each for the Energy, who almost blew a 10-point lead with 2:27 left, allowing the Mixers to come within 102-100.
Eman Monfort, the former Ateneo guard, played his first PBA game and shone in his own little way, hitting a free throw that snapped the long Barako Bull spell to make it 103-100 before Denzel Bowles lost the ball on the other end to doom the Mixers.
Meanwhile, the PBA is paying tribute to the late seven-time Best Import Bobby Parks by naming the Best Import trophy from this conference on after the 6-foot-3 former Memphis States U standout.
Parks, who played for San Miguel Beer and the now defunct Shell, lost his long fight with larynx and lung cancer on Saturday afternoon at the age of 51.
“(It’s) very apt, very appropriate, especially nowadays that we’re looking for an import who not only plays well on court but also plays as a role model off court,” commissioner Chito Salud said yesterday.
BARAKO 105—Brock 25, Urbiztondo 22, Maliksi 19, Pennisi 19, Seigle 10, Vilanueva 4, Monfort 3, Kramer 2, Anthony 1, Intal 0, Macapagal 0.
SAN MIG COFFEE 100—Bowles 24, Yap 22, Simon 21, Barroca 11, Pingris 9, Mallari 5, Devance 4, Najorda 4, Reavis 0, De Ocampo 0.
Quarters: 24-30, 46-46, 68-75, 105-100