Fastbreak: Air21 registers first win, Petron escapes Alaska

Enzo Flojo
Air21 finally gets on the win column as Petron remains undefeated in the PBA 2014 season

ON TOP. Petron's Marcio Lassiter (L) holds off Alaska's Calvin Abueva (R) as the Blaze Boosters remain undefeated. Photo by Nuki Sabio/PBA Images

Air21 over Barako Bull, 92-77

The Best: That 17-0 start was just what the Express needed after they dropped their first five assignments of the season. Former UE Red Warrior BonBon Custodio presided over that opening period explosion, while KG Cañaleta and Joseph Yeo wrapped things up in the second half. Custodio ended up with 9 markers, while Cañaleta and Yeo had 19 and 13 respectively.

The Worst: The Energy Cola wasted an awesome shooting night from rookie sniper Carlo Lastimosa. The former CSB Blazer erupted for 15 points, but even his hot hand was not enough to help Barako Bull overhaul a late double-digit deficit. Usual reliables Ronjay Buenafe and JC Intal paired up for just 13 points in total.

Breakhthrough: Finally, coach Franz Pumaren’s boys nailed a W in the new PBA season. The bemedaled mentor can take heart in the fact his wards played better for almost the entire game, save for a stretch in the second quarter when the Energy Cola trimmed the deficit to just 2 points. I doubt if this means we will see Air21 on a league-rattling winning streak, but this will definitely boost the confidence of the team’s veteran core.

Petron Blaze over Alaska, 86-85

The Best: One cannot heave enough accolades to describe the kind of player June Mar Fajardo has become in the pros. The Cebuano giant continued to show his vast improvement, making one big play after another as Petron rose to its fifth win in as many games to stay firmly entrenched at the top of the dogpile. The man-child people have dubbed, “The Kracken,” had 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks in another stellar showing.

The Worst: Another sophomore, Calvin Abueva, had a brilliant game, albeit for the opposing side. The 2012-2013 Rookie of the Year registered 17 points and 9 boards for the Aces, but an endgame turnover by The Beast helped seal Alaska’s fate. But it was a controversial sequence as Petron big man Doug Kramer appeared to have bumped Abueva, who then lost the ball. There was no call from any of the referees afterwards, which promptly resulted in protestations from Alaska. 

Balanced Boosters: Aside from Fajardo, five other players scored 9 or more points for coach Gee Abanilla, whose team is the only one remaining unbeaten at this juncture. Kramer, Paolo Hubalde, and Marcio Lassiter tallied 9, 10, and 12 points respectively, while the returning Chris Lutz and reigning MVP Arwind Santos dropped 15 markers each. This is a testament to the kind of depth and balance this Petron roster has. Anybody can score on any given night. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.