BARAKO Bull outdueled Meralco but only after surviving a late scare to hack out a 108-106 victory in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
Josh Urbiztondo waxed hot with 13 of his 24 points in the final frame, having the last laugh in a virtual shootout against Gary David as the Energy came out with their second win in four games.
The Bolts' frustrations kept mounting as they remained winless after four outings, leaving David’s league conference high 40 points for naught.
The Bolts, though, made things interesting down the stretch as David buried a tough top-of-the-key three-pointer after the Energy missed four straight free throws, only to come up empty handed in a potential overtime-sending play.
“This was a character game for us,” Energy coach Koy Banal said. “After missing four free throws and allowing them (Bolts) to score that much-needed three-pointer, they stayed focused and wanted to get this win.”
The Energy had squandered an early lead and still trailed 84-82, early in the fourth, before scoring 12 unanswered points, capped by an Urbiztondo triple to give them enough cushion to negate another Bolts comeback.
RR Garcia added 18 points, while Willy Wilson sustained his solid offensive production with 17 markers, making all but one of his nine shots, on top of eight boards and five assists.
David fired 14 of his best scoring output in three seasons in the finale frame, the last three on that triple that nudged the Bolts to within two points, before Reynel Hugnatan missed a contested close-range bucket that determined the outcome.
BARAKO 108 – Urbiztondo 24, Garcia 18, Wilson 17, Monfort 12, Intal 9, Cruz 8, Pennisi 6, Baracael 5, Lanete 3, Caperal 2, Miranda 2, Sorongon 2, Fortuna 0
MERALCO 106 – David 40, Newsome 12, Hugnatan 10, Amer 9, Alapag 7, Nabong 7, Caram 6, Dillinger 5, Al-Hussaini 4, Faundo 4, Sedurifa 2, Ferriols 0, Hodge 0
Quarterscores: 32-23, 56-52, 79-82, 108-106