Energy keep top spot; Hotshots score
BARAKO Bull coach Koy Banal swears that positive thinking is doing wonders for his underrated squad.
Of course, the Energy can always think positively knowing that they have someone like Liam McMorrow to tilt the balance of power in their favor.
The 7-foot-2 McMorrow drained a PBA career-high 41 points that went with 27 rebounds yesterday to lead the Energy to a 123-114 decision of tough Globalport that kept Barako Bull atop the Governors’ Cup standings at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I thought we did a good job of sticking to our formula, and that is our positive attitude,” Banal told reporters shortly after his Energy rose to 6-1. “We were down [by nine points in the second quarter] and we did not give up.”
Banal totally forgot to mention McMorrow, who scored 28 points in the middle two quarters that had the Energy winning out in the high-scoring game and boosting their chances of a high placing in the first round of the playoffs where finishing in the top four is of vital importance.
Defending champion Star also crept closer to a playoff slot after surviving sister squad Barangay Ginebra, 89-82, in the nightcap watched by an animated crowd of more than 17,000.
Joe Devance was the big difference for the Hotshots in the wild game that had both squads coming up with huge runs as Star climbed to a 3-4 card while dealing the Gin Kings a fifth loss in eight matches.
Joseph Yeo finished with 19 points, his four fourth quarter markers coming at the time when the Energy doomed the Batang Pier to their second straight loss in a 4-4 card, still a win shy of an outright playoff slot.
Jarrid Famous played through early foul trouble to drop 32 points and pluck down 22 rebounds for the Batang Pier, who also drew 30 points from Terrence Romeo.
Idle San Miguel Beer, at 6-2, and Alaska, which has a 5-2 record, are the others already in the playoffs.
Star dropped a 14-1 bomb to open up the fourth period and zoom to a 78-64 lead that the Hotshots protected the rest of the way.
Devance finished with 26 points and eight rebounds, and import Marqus Blakely had 19 points and the same number of boards.
Orlando Johnson paced the Kings with 35 points.
BARAKO BULL 123—McMorrow 41, Yeo 19, Lastimosa 14, Intal 14, Garcia 10, Wilson 9, Lanete 6, Ababou 6, Pascual 4, Chua 0, Maierhofer 0.
GLOBALPORT 114—Famous 32, Romeo 30, Pringles 16, Krayem 11, Buenafe 8, Kramer 8, Maamril 4, Semerad 3, Ponferada 2, Jensen 0, Taha 0, Hayes 0.
Quarters: 27-20, 45-50, 87-80, 123-114
STAR 89—Devance 26, Blakely 19, Barroca 12, Mallari 9, Simon 7, Yap 7, Taha 5, Reavis 2, Pingris 2, Pennisi 0.
GINEBRA 82—Johnson 35, Aguilar 18, Mercado 9, Kim 8, Slaughter 4, Caguioa 4, Tenorio 2, Urbiztondo 1, Marcelo 1, Pena 0, Helterbrand 0, Brondial 0.
Quarters: 25-9, 42-34, 64-63, 89-82
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.