Willie Miller lifts Barako Bull over Talk ‘N Text | Inquirer Sports

Willie Miller lifts Barako Bull over Talk ‘N Text

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 10:07 PM October 19, 2011

Willie Miller of Barako Bull posts up Jason Castro of Talk 'N Text. Miller had 27 points to lead Barako Bull's upset win over TNT. PBA IMAGE/Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines – After more than a season, “Miller Time” staged a triumphant return in the PBA and Barako Bull landed a big fish.

Willie Miller, the two-time MVP whose career hit the doldrums the last two seasons, flashed his old unstoppable form Wednesday night and lifted the Energy to a 100-86 upset of Talk ‘N Text in the Philippine Cup eliminations at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“May asim pa (I still have it),” the 34-year-old Miller joked in a talk with reporters shortly after shooting 27 points and handing out six assists to lead the Energy to a third win in four games.

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“I think it just happened that our ball movement was great and that I got open a lot of times,” Miller continued after dramatically improving his six-point-a-game production. “I guess we just caught them off-guard tonight.”

The 6-foot dynamo, who won his first MVP while playing for the original Red Bull franchise, scored 12 of his total in the fourth period, including a fallaway jumper off Jimmy Alapag which made it 90-80 with 4:16 left.

Another “old guy,” as Miller put it, Mick Pennisi, also stood out with an 18-point, seven-rebound effort in 25 minutes with rookie Dylan Ababou completing a three-pronged attack for the Energy at the crunch.

Barako Bull is the oldest team in the league, with its core made up of Miller, Wynne Arboleda, Dorian Peña and Don Allado all at 34 years old and the injured Danny Seigle at 35 and Pennisi the oldest at 36.

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“We will celebrate because we beat a champion team,” coach Junel Baculi said. “Let’s give credit where credit is due. We played tough defense and we kept our composure when they (Texters) made a comeback.”

Barako Bull jumped out of the gates hard and zoomed to leads of as many as 22 points late in the second period before the Texters, who took their first loss in three games, crept to within 67-73 early in the fourth period after five straight Jason Castro points.

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But Miller came up with a five-point cluster of his own and Pennisi answered an Aaron Aban jumper with a booming triple that made it 89-61.

Castro, who paced Talk ‘N Text with 23, completed a three-point play off Arboleda but Miller buried the last of his last three triples to touch off the telling spurt he sealed with that fallaway.

“We knew that at some point in time, Willie was going to explode,” Baculi explained. “This was the game.”

The game Miller played was reminiscent of some of his efforts in the distant past, when he helped Red Bull and Alaska to championships before almost losing his place in the league when he was traded to Barangay Ginebra two years ago.

“The hard thing there (at Ginebra) was that we had a lot of superstar guards,” Miller said in explaining the slump he endured there.

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The scores:
First Game
BARAKO BULL 100—Miller 27, Ababou 20, Pennisi 18, Allado 9, Maliksi 8, Najorda 6, Artadi 4, Arboleda 3, Pena 3, Salvacion 2, Salvador 0.
TALK ‘N TEXT 86—Castro 23, Reyes 16, Dillinger 10, Aban 10, Peek 8, Fonacier 6, Carey 6, Aguilar 4, Alapag 3, Raymundo 0, Alvarez 0, Lao 0.
Quarters: 25-11, 52-33, 71-62, 100-86.

TAGS: Aaron Aban, Alaska Aces, Barako Bull Energy, Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, Basketball, Danny Seigle, Don Allado, Dorian Peña, Dylan Ababou, Jason Castro, Jimmy Alapag, Junel Baculi, Mick Pennisi, PBA Philippine Cup, Red Bull, Sports, Willie Miller, Wynne Arboleda

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