Friday game day for the PBA. In the first game of a double header, Petron Blaze Boosters met the returning Barako Bull Energy. It was the highly anticipated return of the "Thriller" Willie Miller but the Blazing Petron denied his explosion to sealed their second win of the Conference.
Barako Bull made the first point, both team exchanged baskets in the early part of the first quarter but after that Petron created an early 5-0 run and gave them a 5-point lead 11-6. Barakos retaliate with Salvador, he scored 6 quality points to kept them in step with the Blaze Boosters. While Miller struggled in the start of the game, he made his first 2 points in the 4:30 mark of the first quarter but that points brought the lead of Petron down to 2 points, 14-12. It was a tight and physical first 12 minutes of the game and it ended with a low scoring ball game, 20-26 in favor of Boosters.
In the start of the 2nd quarter Petron posted an 8-point lead 20-28 but Barako Bull never gave up and returned to the game with a 6-2 run and cut down the lead to 4 points, 30-26. The combination of Cabagnot and the their rookie Lutz burned the opportunity of the Barakos to come back. Alex Cabagnot scored a 3-point shot and a floater alongside with a fastbreak lay-up of Chris Lutz and posted their biggest lead of the quarter with 13 points, 45-32 in the 3:20 mark. Barakos again made a short spurt of 5-0 but not enough and ended the quarter trailing by 10 points, 37-47.
In the start of the 2nd half, Barako Bull came out sizzling hot! They scored 8 straight points to cut down again the lead of the Boosters to just 2 points, 45-47. Petron struggled to put up points but Lutz answered the run of Barako by a 3-point shot, 50-45. The effort of the veteran Mick Pennisi kept Barako Bull fighting and tied the ball game with his 3-point play, 54-54. In the 5:42 mark of the 3rd quarter Artadi gave his team their second taste of the lead of the game, 56-54 but again there was the rookie of Petron, Chris Lutz, he answered with another 3-point shot and swing the lead back to the Boosters, 57-56. With the steady game of Carlo Sharma plus the combination of Lutz and Cabagnot, they fueled a 12-1 run to post their biggest lead of the quarter, 69-57. Barako Bull tried to rally back but not enough and they ended the quarter with a 9-point deficit, 73-64.
Both team exchanged baskets in the start of the final quarter but Cabagnot made a back-to-back-to-back 3 point shots that gave them a 9-point swing. That three 3-point shot of Cabagnot led to a big run for Petron and with another 3-point shot of Arwind Santos plus a break away dunk, Blaze Boosters posted their biggest lead of the game, 93-74 with 3:20 remaining in the game. Barako Bull was surprised by that rally and they weren't able to answer back. The game closed with a score of 95-83. Petron Blaze Boosters got their second win and established a solo lead in the standings.
The consistent balanced attack and the Defense of the Blaze Boosters was the key for their 2 wins. Arwind scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, another double-double performance for him, Lutz contributed 17 points and 6 steals, Sharma and Ildefonso also had double figure points and the Best Player of the Game, Alex Cabagnot scored 22 points with 6 of 11 shooting in the 3-point line, plus 4 assists.
SCORING BY QUARTER:
20-26, 17-21, 27-20, 19-28
The second game was between Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters and Meralco Bolts. Both teams started well and smoothly. Asi Taulava scored 6 straight points but unfortunately their leader, Mac Cardona, sprained his right ankle in the opening quarter. Despite what happened, Bolts, continued to fight atleast in the first quarter. Lanete, finished the first quarter with a buzzer beater and 2 shots in the free throw line to tied the game in 22, after 12 minutes.
In the second quarter, it was a total disaster for the Bolts. TNT made an 8-0 blast to open the quarter and held the Bolts to a 9-minute scoring drought, Bolts just scored 1 point before that drought happened. Bolts broke that drought in the 2:53 mark of the quarter with their 2nd and 3rd free throw shots. Still no field goal for the Bolts, 0 of 12 until Omolon made a lay up in the 1:14 of the quarter. Texters made a total blast of 16-1 run to build their biggest lead of the quarter. With the 11 fastbreak points of TNT plus the 15 points of Aguilar in the first two quarters alone they ended the first half with a 19 point lead, 28-47.
The story of the first half, the free throw shooting, TNT made 24 attempts on the line while Bolts just had 9 attempts and that showed the aggressiveness of Talk 'N Text.
The 2nd half was all Talk 'N Text. The Tropang Texters never stop on their run, Bolts never broke the 20-point lead barrier of TNT. Adding insult to injury, Pamboy Raymundo made a amazing hang time shot to end the quarter with a 23-point lead, 52-75.
In the final quarter Talk 'N Text just added points and had their biggest lead in the 3:45 of the 4th quarter with 27 points, 92-65. Bolts brought the lead down to 18 but they fell short, the game ended there, 98-80. With the strong "debut" of Japeth Aguilar as a Talk 'N Text he became the Best Player of the Game with 22 big points.
SCORING BY QUARTER:
22-22, 25-6, 28-24, 23-28
Game on Sunday
1st Game: Rain or Shine Elasto Painters vs Powerade Tigers
2nd Game: Alaska Aces vs Brgy. Ginebra Kings
LIVE: AKTV 13