Cutting down errors key in Air21 upset of Petron–Pumaren
MANILA, Philippines – Air21 pulled the rug from under powerhouse Petron Blaze, 97-76, Friday night.
But as stunning as it was, it didn’t take head coach Franz Pumaren from pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
“Coming to this game after our last game against Alaska, we made adjustments, we limited our turnovers,” said Pumaren, a celebrated coach back in the UAAP where he steered De La Salle University to five titles.
“The way we throw the ball away, it’s a no-brainer that’s why we’re losing.”
The Express were averaging exactly 20 turnovers per game in their first six outings but in their rout of the Boosters, they committed just 10 errors and dished out 25 assists.
On the other hand, Petron almost had the same number of assists and turnovers with 17 and 16 respectively.
Also, Rob Reyes, the former Petron Blaze big man, gave Air21 a lift with a near-flawless offensive outing.
Reyes had 17 points on eight-of-nine shooting from the field and grabbed six rebounds all in just 16 minutes.
“He [Reyes] is now assuming the responsibility of being a leader,” said Pumaren, who also saw his team’s five-day rest as an advantage.
“Coaching staff scouted pretty well. Credit goes to my players.”
Air21 won just its second game in seven starts while Petron, still trying to find the right pieces, dropped to 3-4.
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