ANTIPOLO CITY. – Petron Blaze is back playing with a high-octane game after a faltering showing in the last conference.
Making good use of their retooled lineup, the Boosters are now on a 2-0 roll in the PBA Governors Cup, and coach Ato Agustin said they intend to get going.
“The tournament features a ‘carry-over’ format, and so every game counts. Kailangan manalo ng manalo,” said Agustin after his team made it two in a row with a 101-88 win over Meralco at the Ynares Center here Saturday.
The Bolts slid to 1-1.
As in their triumphant 97-83 tournament debut against Powerade Sunday, the Boosters showcased an impressive balanced game, slowly pulling away in the final half.
Agustin made special mention of Jay Washington who picked up a good rhythm in his second game from his return from a foot injury.
“Balik na yong timing ni ‘Jay-wash,’” said Agustin of the 6-foot-7 Fil-Am forward, a big key in their breakaway from a tight game in the third quarter.
The two teams were engaged in a battle marked by 11 deadlocks and nine lead changes before Washington came through with decisive plays fuelling a run that shoved Petron ahead, 72-64, going into the payoff period.
The Boosters went unrelenting to the finish with Edward Basden, Alex Cabagnot, Arwind Santos and Denok Miranda also providing a push.
Washington wound up with 19 points, nine rebounds, three steals and one steal in 25 minutes of action while Basden ended up with 24 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks in 44 minutes of play.
“Ang nakakatuwa dito alam ng lahat ang roles nila,” said Agustin.
“Swerte kami kay Basden. He’s a solid import who can play on both ends. Even then, he’s willing to share the ball with his teammates,” Agustin added.
Cabagnot, Santos and Miranda also put in double-digit outputs while Chris Lutz, Joseph Yeo, Chico Lanete and Danny Ildefonso had their own contributions.
Washington, however, stood out in delivering 17 points in the final half.
He rifled in a three-pointer and jammed in an alley-oop pass by Cabagnot to highlight his 7-of-10 field shooting.
Champ Oguchi also made 24 points for Meralco with Asi Taulava and Sol Mercado chipping in 19 and 17, respectively.
The Bolts could have made the game close if not for eight missed free throws in the fourth quarter. They wound up with a poor 17-of-30 shooting from the line. (SB)
PETRON BLAZE 101 - Basden 24, Washington 19, Cabagnot 16, Santos 12, Miranda 11, Lutz 7, Yeo 7, Lanete 3, Ildefonso 2, Reyes 0, Pena 0.
MERALCO 88 - Oguchi 24, Taulava 19, Mercado 17, Cardona 8, Ross 7, Hugnatan 7, Artadi 4, Reyes 2, Macapagal 0.