BARAKO Bull couldn’t have picked a better time to pull off an upset as it sealed its place in the PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs with an 88-74 stunner over leader Talk ‘N Text on Tuesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Coming off a triple-double in his debut, Energy import Allen Durham put on another performance with 28 points and 29 rebounds to tow his team to a second straight victory and third overall in eight games.
“He makes a great difference,” Energy coach Siot Tanquingcen said of Durham, who also had three assists, two blocks, and one assist. “Not taking anything from Eric Wise, siguro mas nag-fit lang si Allen sa amin.”
With the win, the eighth-running Energy, whose playoff hopes had been hanging by a thread, have suddenly clinched a quarterfinal berth.
Even if they lose their last game, the Energy are assured of advancing to the next round thanks to the winner-over-the-other edge they hold over last-placed squads Meralco and Globalport.
The Texters suffered only their second loss in seven games, but remained tied for the top spot with idle San Mig Super Coffee.
Thanks to Durham's intimidating presence inside the paint, the Energy manhandled the Texters in the rebounding department, 59-41, while limiting the powerhouse squad to just 32.4-percent shooting.
It had been a nip-and-tuck encounter before Jeric Fortuna buried a triple, Durham converted a three-point play, and Keith Jensen scored five straight points in an 11-0 salvo in the last three minutes of the fourth quarter.
Barako Bull (88) – Durham 28, Jensen 17, Miller 15, Fortuna 11, Miranda 6, Wilson 4, Intal 3, Isip 2, Custodio 2, Thiele 0, Najorda 0, Lastimosa 0, Marcelo 0, Pennisi 0
Talk 'N Text (74) – Harris 22, De Ocampo 21, Castro 18, Canaleta 3, Williams 2, Reyes 2, Baclao 2, Carey 2, Alapag 2, Reyes 0, Fonacier 0
Quarterscores: 15-19, 38-45, 60-61, 88-74