|Image courtesy of PBA.ph|
Barako Bull (90) – Air21 Express (87)
The Barako Bull’s off-season build up effort proved to be fruitful as they salvaged a win, albeit a close one, over a newly revamped Air 21 Express team via a 90-87 rout in a game wherein the result was determined only on the last few seconds of the game. Sean Anthony is the best player of the game, which proved to be a great debut for the new Barako Bull Energy player, after scoring 18 points. But it wasn’t just Anthony who carried the team on his shoulder because the team got a lot of contributions from the other guys such as Ronald Tubid (19 pts), Doug Kramer (14), Mick Pennisi (11) and Josh Urbiztondo (8).
For Air 21’s end, Nonoy Baclao had a breakout game with 18 points (new career high in the PBA). KG Canaleta and newcomer John Wilson helped out the team’s cause, but to no avail as the Barako Bulls Energy gained their first win for the season.
According to Barako Bull head coach Junel Baculi, “hopefully we can build on this win…we struggled defensively the whole night. I take my hat off to Air 21.”
The Barako Bulls Energy main man, Danny Seigle, had to sit out for the game as he was under the weather.
Rain or Shine (102) – Petron Blaze Booster (86)
Fresh from its championship run last conference, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters carried on the momentum for its opener of the season, beating Petron Blaze Boosters, 102-86. Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood, two players who came off from their stint in the Jones Cup and FIBA Asia Cup 2012, were pumped up for this game during their Wednesday Night clash at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and played tough against the Blaze Boosters.
This win came after the fact that new Blaze Boosters head coach Olsen Racela manned the sideline and that Paul Lee was still out from injury. Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao exploited the new coaching system wherein he noted, “this is the best time to play Petron when they’re still in transition, learning the new system under a new coach.”
Fajardo, the number one draft pick this year, was limited to only nine points by the tough defense of Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.