A SHORTHANDED Petron still proved too much for a rejigged Globalport side as it cruised to a 97-87 triumph to jumpstart its PBA Philippine Cup campaign on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Despite missing injured players Alex Cabagnot and Ronald Tubid, the Blaze Boosters still probed a potent offensive force as they spoiled the debut of touted rookies Terrence Rome, RR Garcia, and Nico Salva as well as new Batang Pier coach Ritchie Ticzon.
We’re happy and worried about this win, happy because despite some personnel problems we managed to get the win,” said Boosters coach Gee Abanilla, whose team suffered another blow in the game when big man Yousef Taha went out with a knee injury.
Reigning MVP Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo delivered as usual, while Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz provided the offensive spark for the Boosters.
The Boosters maintained a double-digit lead throughout as they pounced on an understandably error-prone Batang Pier and leaned on their transition game that translated to 13 fastbreak points.
Petron made 35 of 76 shots for 46.1 percent and dominated the rebounding department with a 58-47 edge.
Lassiter and Lutz tallied 18 points apiece, Santos had 16 points and seven boards, while Fajardo came up with a double-double of 15 points and 16 boards along with four assists.
Sol Mercado registered an all-around outing with 20 points, six assists, and five boards, while former Booster Jay Washington had a double-double of 15 points and the same number of caroms on top of two blocks for the Batang Pier.
Petron (97) – Lassiter 18, Lutz 18, Santos 16, Fajardo 15, Kramer 11, Hubalde 7, Taha 6, Ross 3, Duncil 2, Deutchman 1
Globalport (87) – Mercado 20, Washington 15, Romeo 13, Najorda 10, Menk 6, Hayes 6, Belencion 4, Salvador 4, Garcia 4, Salva 3, Ponferada 2, Lingganay 0, Nabong 0
Quarterscores: 28-18; 56-44; 75-63; 97-87