Miranda helps Barako Bull deal Alaska its first loss
MANILA, Philippines — Barako Bull squandered a 21-point lead but hung on to pin league-leading Alaska its first loss, 85-78, in the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Energy outscored the Aces, 29-13, in the second quarter and led, 54-33, early in the third period before holding on for just their second victory in seven games.
“I just have to hand it over to my players. They came out ready to play. We did not do anything extraordinary with regards to the game plan. We just made sure that everybody will stay focus and sharp in the game because Alaska plays an uptempo brand of basketball and we cannot afford to relax.”
“We just pushed our activity level to match up with them.”
Denok Miranda scored 21 points to lead Barako Bull, which just last Sunday stopped a winless start and now has a winning streak.
Miranda, who went 8-of-10 from the field, also nailed the game-clinching jumper that made it, 81-73, with 50.1 seconds left.
“If Alaska has Abueva, we have Denok. Denok’s energy not only inside the floor most especially off the floor and his leadership,” Banal said of his veteran guard.
Rookies RR Garcia and Jake Pascual also shone with 18 and 12 points, respectively. Pascual added nine rebounds.
Alaska cut the deficit to four, 75-71, with just a little under five minutes left before Barako responded with four unanswered points to get its lead back to eight, 79-71, on an open jumper by Willie Wilson with 1:55 remaining.
Calvin Abueva had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Aces, who still hold first place at 6-1. Vic Manuel tallied 15 points but Alaska shot just 39% from the fields and committed 19 turnovers.