Barako Bull outshines Star for fifth win

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James Yap of Star Hotshots battles for a rebound against Rodney Brodial of Barako Bull during the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup elimination round at the Araneta Coliseum. CZAR DANCEL

James Yap of Star Hotshots battles for a rebound against Rodney Brodial of Barako Bull during the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup elimination round at the Araneta Coliseum. CZAR DANCEL

The Barako Bull Energy did a fantastic fourth quarter job en route to a stunning 101-83 win over the Star Hotshots for fifth victory in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

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After engaging to a tight battle in the first three quarters, the Energy unleashed a blazing 34-12 assault in the fourth period highlighted by Jeric Fortuna’s big time performance to transform a 54-65 third quarter deficit to a fourth period 21-point (101-80) advantage.

Playmaker Josh Urbiztondo stepped up in the absence of the injured Ryan Roose Garcia by producing 24 points on 5-of-10 shooting beyond the arc, while point guard Jeric Fortuna came off the bench with 14 points and veteran center Mick Pennisi posted 14 points plus three blocks.

Forward Willie Wilson added 18 points plus eight rebounds, while swingman JC Intal had an all-around performance posting 18 points to go along with eight rebounds, five assists and three blocks to hand Barako Bull a 5-5 win-loss record.

“Our obligation is to give our best every game and we failed to do that on our last game. We played our worst in our game against Blackwater, we enabled them to make a record for their team,” said Barako Bull coach Koy Banal during the post game interview.

“The players just responded well and I would like to give it to our veterans because they really took their responsibility. They are the ones who spoke yesterday and admitted that it’s their fault and would like to thank them for playing tough today,” he added.

The flamboyant guard Garcia, who averaged 17.1 points in eight games for Barako Bull, suffered a shoulder injury last December 3 in Barako Bull’s 105-98 win over Talk ‘N Text at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Mark Barroca finished with 17 points and seven assists while James Yap added 12 points to lead the Star Hotshots. The Star Hotshots’ win-loss record dropped to 3-7.

The Barako Bull Energy scored more three-pointers (14-8), grabbed more rebounds (47-43), steals (8-6), blocks (7-3) than the Star Hotshots.

JOSEF T. RAMOS

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