BARAKO Bull continued to live up to its tag as the surprise team of the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup, shocking Star, 101-83, on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum to boost its bid for a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
Trailing by four entering the final frame, the Energy suddenly turned the game around with a scorching run, ending up outscoring the Hotshots, 34-12, in the payoff period to come up with the one-sided result.
Josh Urbiztondo and JC Intal showed the way in scoring, but it was Jeric Fortuna and Willie Wilson who sparked the turnaround for the Energy, who improved to an even 5-5 win-loss card, while sending the Hotshots reeling to their seventh loss in 10 games.
“Our obligation is to do our best every game,” Energy coach Koy Banal said. “This is our best game this conference.”
The pint-sized Fortuna saved his best for last, standing tall in the fourth where he fired all his 14 points, while Wilson added eight of his 18 markers for the Energy who completed a stunning 25-point turnaround when they erected their largest lead at 101-80.
Urbiztondo went out after hurting his ankle early in the fourth, but still finished with a game-high 24 points, while Intal chipped in 18 markers.
Mark Barroca fired a team-high 17 points, but failed to get significant contribution from James Yap and Ian Sangalang, who scored in double digits, but wound up scoreless in the fourth.
BARAKO 101 – Urbiztondo 24, Intal 18, Wilson 18, Fortuna 14, Pennisi 14, Brondial 6, Monfort 5, Lanete 2, Baracael 0, Miranda 0
STAR 83 – Barroca 17, Yap 12, Sangalang 11, Pingris 10, Mallari 9, Taha 7, Cruz 5, Melton 5, Pascual 4, Torres 3, Simon 0
Quarterscores: 25-28, 45-45, 67-71, 101-83