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    Barako takes on Air21, eyes share of lead

    Aug 24, 2013

    BARAKO Bull shoots for a piece of the lead when it goes up against a dangerous Air21 side in their PBA Governors Cup clash on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    The Energy Cola (1-1) are coming off a 90-89 win over the Meralco Bolts on Sunday. They will try to ride on that momentum-building win in their much-awaited collision with the Express (1-1) at 4:15 p.m.

    Rain or Shine, Globalport and Petron are on top with 2-1 records.  

    Team consultant and coach Rajko Toroman said the Express are a dangerous bunch especially with import Zach Graham, in his second PBA tour of duty, because of his ability to penetrate and score from the outside.

    “Air21 is a very dangerous team. And Zach Graham can really spread the floor well because of his shooting. I think he’s the most skilled import this conference,” noted Toroman.

    On the other hand, Air21 coach Franz Pumaren is hopeful that his team will also bring its A-game against Barako Bull, which recently traded center Doug Kramer to Petron in exchange for the 35-year-old Dorian Pena.

    “The one week rest would help the team. The boys just need to pull together (against Barako Bull),” said Pumaren, whose team’s immediate goal is to finish at the top four at the end of the elimination round to assure itself of a twice-to-beat advantage.

    The 6-foot-5 Graham came through with an all-around game, scoring 38 points, grabbing 16 rebounds, adding three assists and three blocks to lead Air21 to a 93-82 win over San Mig Coffee to keep the Mixers winless in two starts.

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    Meanwhile, Toroman said the Energy Cola could get some help at the frontline soon with the possible return of veteran center Enrico Villanueva.

    The 6’5” Villanueva has been out for the last nine months since undergoing surgery to repair a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee late last year.

    “He’s (Villanueva) doing good in practice. He looks good physically. And he might play in our game against Barangay Ginebra (on Aug. 30),” Toroman told shortly after the team’s practice at the Ronac gym in San Juan.

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