PETRON Blaze shoots for a semis berth in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup when it goes for a sweep of Barako Bull in their quarterfinals series on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Boosters relied on the hot shooting hands of Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot in the payoff quarter to turn back the stubborn Energy, 101-83, Tuesday for a 1-0 head start in their mini-series.
Coach Gee Abanilla said he’s well aware of what Barako Bull can do in a game where another loss would mean an early playoff exit, which is why execution of plays will be key to closing out the best-of-three affair.
“Obviously, the first half was really bad for us,” Abanilla said, referring to the team’s poor start in Game One that saw the Boosters trail by as many as 11 points.
But the moment they began to patiently execute on offense and settle down on defense, the Boosters started to whittle down the Energy’s once-double-digit spread, eventually grabbing the lead in the stretch run behind a barrage of three-point bombs.
Seeded third in the playoffs, Petron also expects Best Player of the Conference statistical leader June Mar Fajardo to dominate at the low block that would allow shooters like Lassiter, Chris Lutz, and Cabagnot to get open looks from the outside.
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo banged in 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to log his 11th double-double in 12 games in the conference.
Barako Bull hopes to get more from its outside gunners, especially Ronjay Buenafe, Mark Macapagal, Mick Pennisi, and even two-time league MVP Willie Miller, who scored 17 points in a losing cause for the Energy the last time around.