Winless no more: Air21 dominates Barako
Air21 Express get their first win of the season at the expense of the Barako Bull Energy Cola

FIRST WIN. Asi Taulava and the rest of the Air21 Express finally get their first win of the PBA 2014 season. Photo by Nuki Sabio/PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – Winless no more.

Air21 Express started strong and held the fort down the stretch to record their first win in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup via a 92-77 trouncing of the Barako Bull Energy on Saturday, December 7 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Express started to pull away in the third period with Mac Cardona and KG Canaleta hitting key baskets to put up a double-digit lead, 55-44.

Barako Bull last threatened to steal the match with a Mark Isip basket, 58-64 with over 8 minutes left in the match. However, triples by Canaleta, Joseph Yeo, and Wynne Arboleda carried the Express to safety.

Outplayed, outhustled

Air21 pulled down 57 rebounds, 16 more than the Energy and gave just 5 second chance points to their opponents while scoring 13 of their own.

Canaleta paced the Express with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Joseph Yeo had 13 markers, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists.

The Express also spoiled the splendid debut of Energy rookie Carlo Lastimosa, who scored a team-high 15 points for Barako Bull on 6-of-11 shooting.

With the win, Air21 moved a half-game behind San Mig Coffee in the standings with a 1-5 record, while Barako Bull dropped to 2-3 to tie three other teams at the lower half of the standings.

The scores:

Air21 (92) – Canaleta 19, Yeo 13, Cardona 13, Arboleda 12, Manuel 11, Custodio 9, Camson 6, Taulava 5, Espiritu 2, Sharma 2, Matias 0.

Barako Bull (77) – Lastimosa 15, Isip 12, Miller 12, Labagala 10, Buenafe 9, Pennisi 5, Fortuna 4, Intal 4, Macapagal 2, Jensen 2, Wilson 2, Pena 0, Villanueva 0.

Quarters: 17-10, 37-31, 66-58, 92-77

– with reports from Levi Verora/

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