LeRoy Hickerson played a monster game while the rest of Barako Bull locals provided him support as they picked up their second straight win, outplaying the Air21 Express, 109-100, in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
In just his second game for Barako Bull, Hickerson scored 38 points and finished two rebounds and two assists shy of a triple-double. Barako Bull improved its win-loss record to 3-2, forging a three-way tie for third to fifth spots in the team standings with idle Ginebra and Powerade.
The locals also did their share in the Energy’s victory, with six other players scoring at least six points.
Mick Pennisi finished with 14 points, Doug Kramer had another double-double performance with 10 points and 10 rebounds while Leo Najorda and Celino Cruz contributed nine points for Barako Bull, which led the game from start to finish.
Willie Miller and Don Allado chipped in eight points, Reil Cervantes came off the bench and delivered seven while Ronald Tubid had six.
Despite the win, Barako Bull coach Junel Baculi expressed his dissatisfaction with several aspects of the game.
“I got mad in the dugout sa second half because we were outrebounded. We’re taller than them, so we should be the one dominating the rebounds. We’re still being outrebounded by our opponents, so I guess we’re just lucky we were able to win two straight games,” said Baculi.
For the game, however, the Energy were still outrebounded by the Express, 58-51.
Baculi describes his team’s next three matches as a “tough grind.”
“We will be going up against Rain or Shine, Talk ‘N Text and Barangay Ginebra. That would be a tough grind for us. You have to be mentally prepared. We cannot outshoot every opponent, we should change our state of mind about it,” added Baculi.
Barako Bull (109) – Hickerson 38, Pennisi 14, Kramer 10, Najorda 9, Cruz 9, Miller 8, Allado 8, Cervantes 7, Tubid 6, Weinstein 0, Sharma 0.
Air21 (100) – Graham 41, Sena 16, Isip 11, Omolon 10, Hubalde 6, Salamat 5, Arboleda 5, Espiritu 4, Menor 2, Sison 0, Faundo 0, Ritualo 0.
Quarters: 33-23, 53-47, 80-69, 109-100
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