Petron Blaze Boosters (112) – (87) Barako Bull Energy Cola
The Best: Sometimes, it’s unfair how Arwind Santos can make basketball look so easy. Spiderman hit two triples on his way to 20 points in this one, which marks a conference-high for him. He did have his lowest rebound output (just 3 boards) against the Energy, but he didn’t have to do much cleaning on the glass since Elijah Millsap and June Mar Fajardo were on-task. Nevertheless, this was Santos’ most efficient game so far, mainly because of his shooting accuracy.
The Worst: JC Intal is norming about 20 minutes per game for the Energy, and he has actually supplanted Danny Seigle as the regular starter. His production, though, hasn’t really been commensurate to his playing time and, more importantly, his potential. He scored 12 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and hit 3 triples in Barako’s first game (against TNT), but he has really struggled ever since. In this game, he registered 0 points, shot 0/2 from the field, and turned the ball over twice.
Marvelous Millsap: Elijah Millsap has been awesome for Petron Blaze, and he continued his brilliance here, scoring 31 points, collaring 9 rebounds, dishing out 4 assists, and getting 1 steal. He also hit 4 treys and shot 9/11 from the free throw line. More importantly, however, he helped the Boosters stay solid and alone at the top with a 5-1 slate.
Meralco Bolts (84) – (74) Alaska Aces
The Best: I am going to call the Reynel Hugnatan-Cliff Hodge duo the “Mini H Bombs.” Both forwards have been doing really well of late, despite the fact Hodge is playing a little out of position as a swingman. As a pair, the Mini H Bombs are averaging 22 points, 18.4 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per outing. Hodge is also shooting nearly 39% from beyond the arc. Definitely an underrated, but overachieving pair!
The Worst: So now that it’s not Ginebra he’s playing against, Calvin Abueva has brought his game back down to earth — 9 points on 2/9 FG shooting on top of 5 turnovers. Is it just me, or has he seemed a bit more tame this conference? Could it be he’s pandering to the sensibilities of the fans and media in order to get more votes when the MVP race closes?
Watch out for the Bolts: Meralco is now on a 2-game winning streak, and they are tied for second in the league standings. Mario West has been awesome, the Mini H Bombs have been effective, and John Wilson has been contributing heavily, too. It would be folly for any team to count these guys out. – Rappler.com