By TITO S. TALAO
Game Today (Smart Araneta)
4:15 p.m. Barako Bull vs Alaska
6:30 p.m. Petron Blaze vs San Mig Coffee
Manila, Philippines – It all depends on Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
San Mig Coffee guns for a chunk of the leadership today when it takes on Petron Blaze in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Gametime is at 6:30 p.m. after the curtain-raiser be tween Barako Bull and Alaska at 4:15 p.m.
A San Mig (1-0) win could give it, from the outcome of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel-Meralco Phoenix On Tour provincial game in Digos, Davao del Sur late Saturday night, either a share of first place or a tie at second both with defending champion Talk `N Text (2-0).
If Ginebra (2-0) beats Meralco (1-1), then the Kings regain solo leadership with their third straight victory while the Bolts fall to 12. A loss, however, would send Ginebra sliding to third place with Rain or Shine and Meralco on 2-1 slates, propping up San Mig and the Tropang Texters.
The Mixers spilled the Alaska Aces, 103-83, on Oct. 5, rebounding from two pre-season losses to the same team. Yancy de Ocampo had 22 points and James Yap 20 as steaming hot San Mig Coffee took a 34-25 first quarter lead and never turned cold or stale.
The Boosters, on the other hand, appeared to have recovered from the shellacking they absorbed from Rain or Shine in their first game, putting down fighting Barako Bull, 98-89, on Oct. 10.
Shying away from the horrendous three-point shooting that helped in their downfall against the Elasto Painters, Petron ignited a transition game that scorched Barako Bull.
Chris Lutz led Petron with 22 points but failed to finish the game after suffering a cut on his chin with three minutes remaining. Arwind Santos added 18 points and 11 rebounds and Alex Cabagnot, back to pushing the fast break, had 16 and 10 assists.
Barako, for its part, looks to recover lost ground after that defeat to Petron, a game where Energy Cola forward Mick Pennisi’s wrap-around layup became a highlight film hit.
Alaska, at 0-2, will be desperate to avert falling into the same hole with 0-3 Globalport, a predicament that could hurt them later as the intra-inter elimination round heats up.
In late Friday night action, meanwhile, Jeff Chan fired up grieving Rain or Shine with 35 points, burying one 3-point dagger after another as the Elasto Painters edged the Air21 Express, 99-98, in overtime. KG Canaleta of Air21 sent the game into OT with buzzer-beating triple.
Dedicating every game to their departed assistant coach Roehl Nadurata, the Elasto Painters refused to be denied in their quest for a follow-up to their triumphant Governors Cup campaign last season, overcoming an earlier deficit, building and losing an 11-point lead, and then fighting off the Express in the extra period.
RAIN OR SHINE 99 Chan 35, Cruz 12, Norwood 12, Belga 8, Quinahan 8, Ibanes 7, Tang 5, Arana 5, Rodriguez 4, Jaime 3, Matias 0.
AIR21 98 Wilson 21, Canaleta 13, Isip 12, Omolon 11, Arboleda 10, Sena 8, Baclao 8, Escobal 6, Taha 4, Ritualo 3, Atkins 2.
Quarters: 18-26, 43-48, 75-68, 94-94, 99-98.
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