PETRON castoffs Denok Miranda and Dorian Pena proved thorns in the side of their former team on Wednesday night, leading Barako Bull to a shock 92-88 win over the Boosters in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Energy Cola overcame a late deficit behind Miranda and JC Intal down the stretch to blow past the Boosters as they improved to a 5-7 win-loss card and moved out of a five-team logjam in the drop zone.
Without June Mar Fajardo, who’s out with a right-knee injury, the Boosters suffered a second defeat in three games and just their third in 11 games overall, allowing Rain or Shine to climb to a share of second place just behind leader Barangay Ginebra.
“We will continue to surprise teams. And we’re lucky June Mar didn’t play,” Energy Cola coach Bong Ramos said. “But still they were coming off a convincing win over Talk ‘N Text.”
Miranda, a former Booster, emerged the villain this time as he fired seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, where the Energy Cola outscored the Boosters, 29-17, after trailing in the middle quarters.
After Alex Cabagnot, one of the league’s best closers, buried two free throws to put the Boosters within one, 88-89, Intal punctuated the victory with a slam off a broken play in the next possession.
Peña, another ex-Petron player, also shone against his former team as he poured in a game-high 18 points, 10 boards, three assists, and one steal.
BARAKO (92) – Peña 18, Intal 17, Miranda 11, Lastimosa 10, Penisi 9, Maierhofer 7, Miller 7, Isip 6, Buenafe 5, Wilson 2, Macapagal 0, Jensen 0
PETRON (88) – Lutz 17, Cabagnot 15, Santos 15, Lanete 8, Kramer 8, Lassiter 7, Tubid 6, Taha 4, Deutchman 4, Ross 4
Quarterscores: 24-21, 36-47, 63-71, 92-88