Barako Bull survived a late run from Rain or Shine to hack out a crucial 106-102 win and snap a three-game losing streak in the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Mick Pennisi tallied his best offensive game in four seasons with 22 points, including two pressure-packed free throws with 6.1 seconds left that pegged the final score.
Paul Lee missed a pair of three-pointers in the final seconds before the Elasto Painters absorbed their fourth straight loss. Rain or Shine slipped in the team standings with a 7-5 win-loss mark.
The Energy’s record improved to 6-5, and the victory came at the right time especially after Powerade (5-7) shocked Talk ‘N Text in the first game.
“We could still miss the playoffs. Delikado pa sabi nga nila lalo na’t nanalo ang Powerade kanina,” said Barako Bull coach Junel Baculi.
“Sabi ko lang, focus lang. Akala kasi nila, magaling na kami. After four straight wins, three straight losses naman. We talked about it and they are very eager to play again, start winning again to get back in contention.”
Rookie Dylan Ababou also had a superb game with 21 points while Willie Miller dished out an all-around effort with 16 points, five rebounds and seven assists.
Veteran forwards Danny Seigle and Don Allado chipped in 14 and 11 points respectively for the Energy.
Lee led Rain or Shine with 24 points to go along with five rebounds and seven assists while Jeff Chan added 21 and keyed the team’s late push.
After Miller’s two free throws gave Barako Bull a 104-96 lead with a little over a minute left, Chan and Larry Rodriguez anchored a swift 6-0 burst to threaten at 104-102 with 10.4 seconds remaining.
Chan sent Pennisi to the 15-foot line and the southpaw center converted both shots to seal the win for the Energy.
It was another huge blow for the campaign of the Elasto Painters, who started the tournament with a 7-1 mark but have lost their last four.
“We have to think na the remaining games are for the playoofs,” said Baculi.
BARAKO 106 – Pennisi 22, Ababou 21, Miller 16, Seigle 14, Allado 11, Salvacion 6, Arboleda 5, Pena 5, Gatumbato 3, Aquino 2, Artadi 1.
RAIN OR SHINE 102 – Lee 24, Chan 21, Quinahan 14, Rodriguez 12, Matias 10, Belga 6, Arana 6, Tang 4, Norwood 3, Cruz 2, Buenafe 0, Ibanes 0.
Quarters: 25-24, 49-48, 77-71, 106-102
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