BARAKO Bull outlasted Kia Carnival, 95-86, to forge a three-way at the top of the standing on Sunday in the 40th Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup elimination round at the Araneta Coliseum.
Not even the presence of head coach and boxing icon Manny Pacquiao who just arrived from the US, could save the day for the expansion team Kia as import Solomon Alabi and JC Intal combined for 44 points to join Purefoods Star Hotshots and Meralco Bolts at the top with similar 3-0 win-loss slate. The victory was Energy Cola’s best start so far for a long while.
“Our goal is to make it three in a row. Everybody agreed about it. This game is all about defense and making good decision. I’m thankful to our players for making good decision especially down the stretch. Kia is a different team in this conference. I think our team is
delivering what coaching staff wants. Our next game will be against Talk ‘N Text, it will be an acid test for us,” said Barako Bull coach Koy Banal..
The Energy Cola led by as much as 15 points, 57-42, with still 4:04 remaining in the third period but they could not maintain the pace following Kia’s run-and-gun rampage. Kia’s vaunted offense enabled them to reduce to gap to its closest, 71-74, on Leo Avenido’s triple still 6:14 to go.
But Alabi scored back-to-back baskets while Paulo Hubalde added four points to stretch the Energy Cola’s lead back to eight points, 87-79, some 2:25 to go.
Alabi finished with 26 points on top of 20 rebounds and eight blockshots. He was seven-of-14 in the field goal. Intal settled with 18 points, while Lanete added 10 and nine from Hubalde.
The 7’3” import PJ Ramos scored 34 points to lead Kia Carnival, Buensuceso had 14 and 10 for LA Revilla. FRANK CALAPRE
Barako Bull 95 – Alabi 26, Intal 18, Lanete 10, Hubalde 9, Garcia 8,
Lastimosa 6, Wilson 6, Marcelo 4, Pascual 4, Chua 2, salvador 2, Salva
0, Paredes 0, Sorongon 0.
Kia 86 –Ramos 34, Buensuceso 14, Revilla 10, Cawaling 8, Avenido 7,
Burtscher 6, Pascual 4, Dehesa 3, Poligrates 0, Webb 0, Alvarez 0, Yee
0, Ighalo 0.
Quarters:22-13; 37-28; 66-56; 95-86