Thursday, August 18, 2011
Petron takes PBA Gov Cup Finals lead 3-2
Source : JVP, GMA News
Petron went on another blazing start and then held off Talk 'N Text's mini-rally in the stretch for a 93-80 win Wednesday night to move on the verge of bagging the PBA Governors Cup championship.
Arwind Santos had another import-like game with 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Anthony Grundy played like a true reinforcement with 26 markers, 11 boards and six assists in the emphatic Game 5 victory that gave the injury-plagued Blaze Boosters a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Finals at the Araneta Coliseum.
Petron can wrap up the title series with another win in Friday's Game 6, also at the Big Dome, as it seeks the franchise's 19th championship overall, and perhaps pulling off one the greatest upsets in the league's 36-year history.
"We must grab this opportunity, we're ahead in the series," Petron coach Ato Agustin said after the Blaze Boosters moved ahead in the series for the second time even without key players Jay Washington, Joseph Yeo, Lordy Tugade and Rookie of the Year Rabah Al-Hussaini.
Talk 'N Text played minus leading scorer Jayson Castro, whom the Tropang Texters coaching staff decided to sit out after the 5-foot-9 playmaker complained of pains in his right knee.
Without Castro, who averaged 17.7 in the first four games of the Finals, the Grand Slam-seeking franchise heavily favored to win this series struggled for the second straight game and trailed by 18 points (70-52) late in the third period.
The Tropang Texters managed to cut the deficit to single digits, the last at 81-73 on a Ryan Reyes lay up with six minutes to go.
But Petron, behind Danny Ildefonso and Alex Cabagnot, went on an 8-1 spurt in the final five minutes to hike the lead back to 88-75 in the final 61 seconds.
The Tropang Texters ended up shooting 28-of-84 from the field (33 percent) with Ryan Reyes scoring 14 points.
The Blaze Boosters raced to several 11-point leads in the first half, including one following a Grundy three-pointer. Petron led 48-37 at the break.
Petron trailed in the first few minutes at 5-1, but then reversed the tide by scoring the next 10 points to take the lead (10-5).
Santos' two-handed slam and two free throws by Ildefonso, off an advantage foul by Alapag, gave the Boosters their first sizeable lead, 18-9, 40 seconds left in the opening quarter.
The period ended with the Petron on top by 10 (19-9) as they held the Tropang Texters to a single digit output after 12 minutes of play.
Petron 93 - Grundy 26, Santos 20, Ildefonso 13, Miranda 11, Cabagnot 7, Duncil 6, Hubalde 3, Salvacion 3, Baclao 2, Guevarra 2, Pennisi 0.
Talk 'N Text 80 - Reyes 14, Williams 13, Peek 11, Fonacier 9, De Ocampo 8, Carey 8, Alapag 8, Reynolds 5, Dillinger 2, Aban 2.
Quarter scores: 19-9, 47-38, 73-58, 93-80.