MANILA, Philippines – Alex Cabagnot made a roaring return from injury, draining a teardrop in the final 3.5 seconds to lift Petron Blaze over Air21, 90-88 in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday, December 11, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
After Mac Cardona gave Air21 the 82-81 lead, Marcio Lassiter drilled a huge three and came away with a big steal and layup to tow Petron ahead, 86-82, with just 46 seconds left.
But KG Canaleta fired back-to-back triples even as June Mar Fajardo came with a split from the line to knot things at 88-all.
Petron mapped out one final play and went to Cabagnot, who has had game-winners in the past, for the last possession. Cabagnot escaped Air21's defense and attempted the floater from the left side to salvage Petron in the thrilling win.
Chris Lutz continued his stellar performance this conference, scoring 25 points, 4 rebounds, and two steals for the Boosters.
Mac Cardona erased an early double-digit hole, firing 13 markers in the second period as Air21 tied the count at the half, 39-all.
Air21 also closed out the third period on a strong 17-11 burst to overtake Petron entering the final period, 60-59.
It was a see-saw battle from that point before Petron found the crucial baskets late in the game.
Despite the loss, Asi Taulava came to play, limiting June Mar Fajardo of his touches and looks at the basket. But the younger center had the last laugh in their gargantuan match-up underneath, helping Petron in the fourth quarter.
The Boosters stayed immaculate with a 6-0 card while Air21 got buried deeper in the team standings with just a single win in 7 outings. – with reports from Levi Verora/Rappler.com