|PBA Images/Nuki Sabio|
And the short-handed Boosters responded to the challenge.
The Boosters had six players that finished in double figures with Chris Lutz leading the way, but it was Petron’s defense against one of the hottest teams in the tournament that proved to be the difference in their 96-86 triumph in the PBA Philippine Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
“Uso ang bull session sa mga teams na nag-struggle,” said Petron coach Olsen Racela. “We reminded each other to stop talking, but it’s time to start to play.”
“The key to this win is that we limit the No. 2 offensive team. We held them down tonight,” he added.
The Boosters came out of the halftime break fresh and full of energy as they clamped down on the Elasto Painters’ big guns. Petron limited Rain or Shine to just 12 third-quarter points, while unloading 33 points at the other end to turn an expected tight struggle into a rout.
Rain or Shine trailed by 22 points, 57-79, entering the last quarter. They made a huge run in the fourth, but simply ran out of time.
“We needed a win badly, not just for the team standings, but also to get our confidence back,” said Racela. “I was also having doubts myself after we lost three straight games, but the players helped me and I got my confidence back.”
In snapping a three-game slide, the Boosters improved their record to 4-6.
Lutz finished with 19 points followed by Arwind Santos’ 16. Jay Washington contributed 14 markers while Marcio Lassiter chipped in 12.
Alex Cabagnot had 11 and Denok Miranda added 10 in a display of balanced firepower by the undermanned Petron squad.
PETRON (96) – Lutz 19, Santos 16, Washington 14, Lassiter 12, Cabagnot 11, Miranda 10, Faundo 6, Yeo 6, Duncil 2, Ildefonso 0.
RAIN OR SHINE (86) – Chan 20, Belga 14, Quinahan 11, Cruz 10, Rodriguez 10, Tang 8, Ibanes 6, Matias 4, Norwood 3, Arana 0.
Quarterscores: 25-15, 46-45, 79-57, 96-86.
WATCH PETRON VS RAIN OR SHINE PBA GAME REPLAY