AN injury-ravaged Barako Bull leaned on the endgame heroics of new recruitJonas Villanueva, import Evan Brock and veteran forward Danny Seigle to pull off a 79-75 victory over an import-less San Mig Coffee on Friday night in the two teams' PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Villanueva, who arrived from San Mig just two weeks ago as part of the blockbuster five-man, 10-player trade, played with fire in his eyes, facilitating well and knocking down the key baskets against his former team.
Brock and Seigle then combined for nine of the team's last 10 points while helping the defending Commissioner’s Cup champions to just one basket inside the final two minutes to ice the win.
“It’s a very important win for us. Considering that San Mig was playing without an import, it’s still a great win for us,” said Rajko Toroman, Barako Bull’s coaching consultant.
The loss left the San Miguel organization winless in three games featuring its teams in two leagues, coming just after the setback suffered by Petron at the hands of newcomer Globalport and the Beermen's defeat to the Indonesia Warriors in the ABL.
Toroman said the team is going through a lot of adjustments, from injuries to key players, the entry of new faces due to the trade, plus a new system he introduced less than a month ago.
“We missed four players. Roger Yap will undergo surgery (back), while JC Intal, Sean Anthony, Celino Cruz and Eman Monfort are still injured as well. In this situation, we still had an amazing result,” said the 57-year-old Serb.
Seigle finished with just eight points, but he hit a three-pointer that opened a five-point lead for Barako Bull in the endgame as well as the two free throws that ended the Mixers' hopes.
Despite missing import Matt Rogers who is still confined at Cardinal Santos Medical Center due to suspected food poisoning, the Mixers kept the Energy Cola in check for much of the contest.
James Yap carried the fight for the Mixers with 19 points while Rafi Reavis and PJ Simon added 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Toroman admits their import Brock is not be as explosive a scorer as the other imports, but the 6-9 lefty still led the Energy Cola with 18 points, 12 rebounds and two assists.
Josh Urbiztondo, another former San Mig Coffee guard, added 17 points for Barako Bull while going 5-of-10 from beyond the three-point arc.
Barako Bull 79 - Brock 18, Urbiztondo 17, Villanueva 16, Macapagal 8, Seigle 8, Maliksi 7, Pennisi 5, Duncil 0, Kramer 0, Allado 0
San Mig Coffee 75 - Yap 19, Reavis 13, Simon 11, Najorda 8, Devance 6, Pingris 6, Mallari 5, Barroca 4, Alvarez 3, Gonzales 0
Quarterscores: 16-19, 38-36, 55-52, 79-75