Boosters foil rallying Aces
JUNE Mar Fajardo scored the last seven Petron Blaze points and Arwind Santos broke up Alaska’s potential game-winning play last night as they led the Boosters to an 86-85 victory in the Petron Saturday Special of the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Fajardo had a buzzer-beating fallaway and was 5-of-6 from the free throw line inside the final 2:09 as the Boosters held off the swashbuckling finish of the Aces to stay unbeaten in five games in the season-opening conference.
Alaska gained a crack at victory after three straight Petron misses from the free throw line, and with one second to go, Santos tapped the inbound pass of Tony dela Cruz as the Aces dropped to 2-4.
Fajardo finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds for Petron, while Calvin Abueva, who fouled out with 7.5 seconds left, had 17 and nine boards although he was deprived of at least two charities after no foul was called on Doug Kramer in the final nine seconds.
Earlier, Air21 broke into the win column in a big way, ripping Barako Bull, 92-77.
Reeling from back-to-back overtime losses and a five-game losing streak overall, the Express finally put it together to deal the Energy a third straight defeat in a 2-3 card.
“The gorilla, not just the monkey, is off our backs,” Air21 coach Franz Pumaren said after their first win where Nino Canaleta scored 19 points and four others tossed in twin digits.
Meanwhile, defending champion Talk ‘N Text shoots for a third straight win while trying to pin back-to-back losses on Barangay Ginebra when they clash today at 5:15 p.m.
The Tropang Texters and the Gin Kings are tied with 3-1 records and Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black believes that more than Ginebra’s towering frontline of Japeth Aguilar and No. 1 pick Greg Slaughter, the men to stop should be LA Tenorio and Mark Caguioa.
“Because of Ginebra’s size, holding our own on the boards and limiting their post scoring are major concerns,” said Black in a text message. “But I think the main key will be our ability to slow down LA (Tenorio) and Mark (Caguioa).
AIR21 92—Canaleta 19, Yeo 13, Cardona 13, Arboleda 12, Manuel 11, Custodio 9, Camson 6, Taulava 5, Espiritu 2, Sharma 2, Matias 0.
BARAKO 77—Lastimosa 15, Isip 12, Miller 12, Labagala 10, Buenafe 9, Pennisi 5, Fortuna 4, Intal 4, Macapagal 2, Jensen 2, Wilson 2, Pena 0, Villanueva 0.
Quarters: 17-10, 37-31, 66-58, 92-77
PETRON 86—Fajardo 20, Lutz 15, Santos 15, Lassiter 12, Hubalde 10, Kramer 9, Duncil 3, Lanete 2, Deutchman 0.
ALASKA 85—Jazul 18, Abueva 17, Espinas 11, Thoss 9, Baguio 9, Casio 8, Buenafe 3, Belasco 2, Dela Cruz 2, Hontiveros 2, Avenido 2, Exciminiano 2, Ramos 0, Eman 0.
Quarters:17-17, 35-37, 56-56, 86-85