No Rajko Toroman on the bench, no problem for Petron Blaze.
With Olsen Racela taking full control of the team, the Boosters cruised to a 110-98 victory over the GlobalPort Batang Pier Friday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Despite being shorthanded up front after injuries to centers June Mar Fajardo and Danny Ildefonso, Petron showed up relaxed and confident to notch their third win in six games.
“I gave the players more freedom and that resulted to us scoring 110 points. But this game also gave us an indication that we needed to work hard on defense as we gave up 98 points,” said Racela.
“But that’s a given thing. If we had difficulty defending our opponents, then we should also give them a difficult time with our offensive game.”
Petron scored 17 points in transition and 20 off turnovers.
Arwind Santos, the most consistent player on the Boosters side, came through with a season-high 29 points and 17 rebounds.
Chris Lutz and Jay Washington contributed 16 points apiece while Alex Cabagnot and Denok Miranda added 15 and 10, respectively in a display of balanced firepower by the Boosters.
Petron led 91-78, but saw their lead trimmed to five in the final three minutes. But Cabagnot scored five straight points to weather a late rally by the Batang Pier.
“What I like about today, we were running. I gave the players the freedom, but they need to make sure they will make smart decisions, kasi nasanay sila half court set,” said Racela.
“If they start recognizing which ones to attack or when to pull back out, we will be a more dangerous team.”
PETRON 110 – Santos 29, Lutz 16, Washington 16, Cabagnot 15, Miranda 10, Yeo 9, Pena 8, Lassiter 3, Mallari 2, Duncil 2, Sison 0.
GLOBALPORT 98 – Manuel 23, Miller 15, Deutchman 14, Antonio 13, Vanlandingham 9, Mandani 8, Vergara 6, Al-Hussaini 4, Adducul 3, Yee
2, Guevarra 1.
2, Guevarra 1.
Quarters: 30-27, 48-48, 76-68, 110-98