BINAN, Laguna – Barako Bull continued its surprising start in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup, turning back Mahindra, 93-85, in a road game at the Alonte Sports Arena on Tuesday night.
RR Garcia rose to the occasion this time, waxing hot in the payoff period where the steady playmaker fired 16, including 11 straight that kept the Enforcers at bay.
“I’m thankful I’m not (going up) against him,” Energy coach Koy Banal said of the former UAAP MVP, who finished with 26 markers in 27 minutes.
That allowed the Energy, who came in with little expectations in the all-Filipino conference after a offseason of questionable trade decisions, to notch a second straight win and third overall against two losses, moving above .500.
The Enforcers absorbed a fourth setback in five games to get stuck near the bottom.
“The reminder was just to keep on doing things we’ve been doing since Day One,” Banal said.
JC Intal also shone for the Energy, tallying 20 points and six boards, while Willy Wilson continued to provide an unlikely offensive punch with 11 along with 13 rebounds in 41 minutes that evidenced his significance to the team.
The result spoiled the impressive performance of Mahindra veteran forward Mark Yee, a known stopper who stepped up offensively with a team-high 17 points along with 20 boards and two blocks in just 26 minutes.
Despite playing in their second game in three days, the Energy hardly looked winded as they dictated the pace and led for most of the game, building a cushion that grew to as many as 13 points, 78-65, after a Garcia three-point play that capped his one-man run midway through the fourth.
Barako 93 - Garcia 26, Intal 20, Wilson 11, Baracael 9, Pennisi 6, Monfort 5, Lanete 4, Miranda 3, Urbiztondo 3, Andrada 2, Caperal 2, Sorongon 2, Fortuna 0.
Mahindra 85 - Yee 17, Revilla 14, Jaime 9, Dehesa 7, Hubalde 6, Pascual 6, Ramos 6, Webb 6, Canaleta 5, Guinto 4, Alvarez 2, Laure 2, Bagatsing 1, Pinto 0.
Quarterscores: 22-18, 48-41, 69-59, 93-85