BARAKO Bull just refused to roll over and die, coming back from the grave in regulation before limiting Globalport to a solitary basket in the final seven minutes of a hard-earned 98-88 overtime win to assume the early solo lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Just when the huge Sunday crowd at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum thought the game was over, the Energy Cola suddenly sprang back to life in the final two minutes of regulation behind a huge 10-0 blast.
Gunner Mark Macapagal capped the scoring binge with a pressure-packed three-pointer with ninth-tenths of a second left that sent the game into overtime, 86-86.
With momentum suddenly shifting on its side, Barako Bull poured on the heat in the extra five minutes as the rejuvenated Danny Seigle scored five straight points.
Josh Urbiztondo then nailed a dagger of a three-pointer with 64 seconds to play as Barako all but wrapped up the game with a 96-88 lead.
“We showed the character in these two games. And really, winning this game was a miracle, especially that show by Mark Macapagal, who wasn’t making his shots earlier,” said Barako Bull active team consultant Rajko Toroman, who got a fitting birthday gift right on his 58th birthday.
The victory vaulted the Energy Cola to the early solo lead with a 2-0 (win-loss) record, while the Batang Pier, who debuted this conference with a victory over the Petron Boosters, went down to 1-1.
Toroman said he expects the Energy Cola to get more potent in the coming games with high-flying swingman JC Intal expected to return after recovering from a knee problem.
The win was also a gratifying one for Barako Bull, scoring it at the expense of former head coach Junel Baculi after the veteran mentor and the franchise parted ways three months ago before he eventually joined Globalport.
The Energy Cola overcame a poor 2-of-16 shooting clip from downtown in the first half as they made 11 of their 24 in the last two quarters en route to the morale-boosting win.
Import Evan Brock posted a double-double of 25 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Energy Cola, while Urbiztondo added 24 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
Jonas Villanueva and Seigle added 18 and 16 points, respectively for Barako.
Meanwhile, Japeth Aguilar led the Batang Pier with 23 points, four points shy of his career-high (27), while Sol Mercado added 19 and a career-best 16 assists.
Justin Williams only had 12 points, but grabbed a season-high 27 rebounds for the Batang Pier, who led by as much as 86-76 in regulation before Barako Bull came through with 10 unanswered points.
Barako Bull (98) - Brock 25, Urbiztondo 24, Villanueva 18, Seigle 16, Maliksi 9, Macapagal 6, Kramer 0, Pennisi 0, Allado 0.
Globalport (88) -- Aguilar 23, Mercado 19, David 19, Williams 12, Miller 7, Yee 5, Salvador 3, Deutchman 0, Juntilla 0
Quarterscores: 21-19; 35-38; 60-58; 86-all (reg); 98-88.