Veterans lift Barako Bull past Alaska in quarterfinals opener

Barako Bull drew strength from its veterans and overcame the scoreless debut of import Reggie Okosa to take a 103-90 win over Alaska in Game One of their best-of-three quarterfinal series of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Ronald Tubid and Danny Seigle carried the scoring cudgels for the Energy to take a 1-0 lead against the Aces.

Tubid netted 24 points while Seigle finished with a personal conference-high 21 to lead Barako Bull to victory.

Seigle added six rebounds and became the 34th member of the 2,000 rebounds club in league history.

“I don’t want to take anything away from my veterans. I have to give credit to them. They really stepped up,” said Energy coach Junel Baculi, who also drew solid games from Don Allado (16 points) Willie Miller (14) and Leo Najorda (12).

“Nag-a-adjust pa siya (Okosa) sa system at mahirap din nung dumating siya, playoffs na at sa PBA kapag playoffs, it’s really tough.”

Okosa, who replaced Rodney White, played only 11 minutes. He was 0-of-7 from the field and did not play the whole second half.

But the locals kept the Energy going led by Tubid, Seigle, Allado and Najorda.

After Cyrus Baguio hit a three-pointer to push the Aces within two points, 79-77, Najorda anchored a decisive 14-5 swing to give Barako Bull its first double-digit lead at 93-82 with 4:15 left in the game.

Alaska never had a serious run since.

With the win, Barako moved a win away from facing defending champion Talk ‘N Text in a best-of-five semifinal series.

Baguio led the Aces with 20 points while LA Tenorio added 19, but was held scoreless in the final quarter.

“We made a lot of mistakes and tonight against a veteran team like Barako Bull, we can’t afford to make those mistakes,” said Alaska coach Joel Banal.

The scores:

BARAKO BULL 103 – Tubid 24, Seigle 21, Allado 16, Miller 14, Najorda 12, Pena 8, Arboleda 6, Gatumbato 2, Okosa 0, Weinstein 0, Pennisi 0.

ALASKA 90 – Baguio 20, Tenorio 19, Baracael 18, Parada 11, Thoss 10, Custodio 8, Eman 2, Gonzales 2, Salamat 0, Bugia 0.

Quarters: 17-27, 48-47, 79-74, 103-90

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