Petron Blaze leaned on big shots from Alex Cabagnot and Dennis Miranda in the fourth quarter to beat Meralco, 91-84, and take Game One of their best-of-three quarterfinal series in the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Cabagnot had two straight four-point plays while Miranda hit a three-point shot and a three-point play that helped the Boosters secure the win. Petron needs just one more win to meet defending champion Talk ’N Text in the best-of-seven semifinals.
Arwind Santos finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds, rookie Chris Lutz added 18 while Cabagnot dished out an all-around performance with 14 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
Rob Reyes also came out big for Petron with 11 points while Miranda came off the bench and contributed 10.
“Maganda ang preparation namin. We were able to execute the game plan especially yung depensa namin,” said Boosters coach Ato Agustin.
“We had a flat start and mababa ang field goal percentage but still maganda ang score. We made the adjustment at halftime and I just them to stay aggressive especially yung big men ko.”
Santos and Reyes responded to that challenge in the third quarter as they connived for a 20-7 spurt to give the Boosters a 60-47 lead, with 4:38 left in the period.
But the Bolts answered back with their own 13-3 swing to cut the deficit to 63-60 entering the fourth quarter.
Mark Isip’s back-to-back baskets tied the count for the last time at 68-all before Cabagnot, who was held to just four points in the first three quarters, nailed his four-point plays to give the Boosters a 76-68 lead.
Reyes hit a side jumper and Lutz converted inside the paint for an 80-68 cushion with 5:30 left in the game.
Meralco sliced the Petron lead to 80-73, but Miranda hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer. After Sol Mercado’s responded with his own three-pointer, Miranda completed an off-balance three-point playoff Lanete to give Petron the game for good, 86-75, with 3:45 remaining.
Mercado led the Bolts with 18 points while Gabby Espinas and Isip added 13 and 10 points respectively.
Mark Cardona had a quiet 8-point performance on 3-of-10 shooting from the field.
PETRON 91 – Santos 19, Lutz 18, Cabagnot 14, Reyes 12, Miranda 11, Yeo 9, Sharma 4, Ildefonso 4, Doruelo 0, Baclao 0, Tugade 0.
MERALCO 84 – Mercado 18, Espinas 13, Cardona 12, Isip 10, Taulava 9, Yee 7, Borboran 6, Timberlake 2, Macapagal 2, Omolon 2, Hugnatan 2, Lanete 1.
Quarters: 17-22, 40-40, 63-60, 91-84
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