Petron bounces back to tie series

Japeth Aguilar challenges Arwind Santos. Photo by Sid Ventura.

Petron coach Ato Agustin knew his team was badly outhustled in Game 1, so he made sure they didn't commit the same mistake twice.

Determined to prevent a repeat of the first game of their best-of-seven semifinal series against the defending champion Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters, the Blaze Boosters hit the ground running this time and controlled the tempo almost all throughout to win Game 2, 91-89, and even up the series at one win apiece.

Unlike in the series opener last Thursday, where they gave up a combined 36 points on second-chance points and turnover points while scoring only 23 of their own, the Blaze Boosters had a much better output on the hustle board in Game 2, getting 15 second-chance points and 20 points off turnovers, compared with 21 and 8 for TNT. Additionally, Petron scored more fastbreak points, 11-8.

"Second-chance points, turnovers points and fastbreak points," Agustin said. "Iyon talaga ang target namin. I think team effort did it, especially our defense. Iyong intensity namin nandoon. Unlike in the first game, we started out flat. Talagang malamya. Nag-init noong fourth quarter. But this time, this game, from the start iyong energy at intensity nandoon talaga. Although we had some lapses and turnovers, very focused sila sa game."

Behind Alex Cabagnot and Joseph Yeo, the Blaze Boosters sprinted out to a 26-18 after one quarter as TNT's starting five, in the colorful words of coach Chot Reyes, "played like sh…sh…sh…shocking." He was referring to the anemic first-quarter output of starters Jared Dillinger (0 points), Harvey Carey (0 points) Ryan Reyes (2 points), and Ali Peek (0 points).

"We didn't get anything," Reyes lamented. "Jared Dillinger wasn't around, Ryan Reyes had to be taken in and out because he was felling something in his Achilles (heel). We were just outplayed. They started very hot. Cabagnot and Yeo got them off to a big start, and that cushioned our comeback in the end.

"I said after Game 1, we need to play better in Game 2 than we did in Game 1 to win Game 2. Obviously we didn't, and that's the story of the ball game. Talo sa effort. They had more combined second-chance points and turnover points than us, so that's a very good indicator of effort. Unfortunately, they wanted it more than we did, and they came out with the victory."

The Texters finally got back into the game with Jimmy Alapag, Kelly Williams, Larry Fonacier, and Ranidel De Ocampo coming off the bench and tying up the score at 41 at the halftime break. But Cabagnot scattered 12 of his game-high 24 points in the third period to stake Petron to a 66-57 lead. Arwind Santos then buried a triple to open the fourth period, followed by a drive by Denok Miranda and a fastbreak layup by Lordy Tugade to give the Blaze Boosters their largest lead of the game, 73-57. Although Cabagnot would not score in the fourth, Yeo picked up the scoring cudgels and pumped in seven points to help keep the Texters at bay.

It was a good bounce-back game for both Yeo and Miranda, who were virtually absent in Game 1. Miranda, in particular, had a brutal outing, going scoreless in 20 minutes. "Missing in action si Denok noong first game," Agustin admitted. "Pero noong second game, sabi niya na babawi daw siya."

The former FEU point guard finished with seven points, four rebounds, six assists and one steal, while Yeo had 17 points and six assists.  The Blaze Boosters also got a big lift from veteran Danny Ildefonso, who had a double-double effort of 12 points and 10 rebounds, including a big jumper from the baseline with 20 seconds left gave his team an 89-84 lead and virtually slammed the door on the Texters' last-ditch rally.

The feat earned Ildefonso player of the game honors, although in reality anyone among Cabagnot, Yeo, and Santos would have been a worthy winner as well, underscoring the total team effort the Blaze Bosoters put into this game.



Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • North Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    North Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two missiles into the sea on Monday and vowed "merciless" retaliation as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre rattling. "And if there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the North …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao
    Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao

    An Indonesian cargo vessel that was hijacked a month ago in North Sulawesi, Indonesia has been found stuck in the waters off Mati, Davao Oriental, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported yesterday. PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said the PCG- Southeastern Mindanao district was informed on Feb. 23 that the M/T Rehoboth was found aground off Barangay Cabuaya. Four personnel from the local PCG district office were sent to verify the report. The vessel was reportedly hijacked by …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf
    Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf

    Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. has ordered the sustained campaign against the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) following the successive offensives against the armed groups last week. A total of 24 Abu Sayyaf bandits and two soldiers were killed in recent clashes in Sulu last week. The Joint Task Group Sulu has received information that Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron was wounded during one of the encounters but this is …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

  • Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR
    Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR

    Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to consider a proposed special tax exemption for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in his much-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday it will have to be discussed by Congress because lawmakers are the ones who enact tax exemptions, special or general. Pacquiao has been dogged by unsettled tax obligations with the BIR. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options