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    Inspired Batang Pier take on Petron with an eye on gate-crashing quarterfinals 

    Sep 14, 2013

    COMING off a morale-boosting win the last time, Globalport resumes its quarterfinal push in the PBA Governors Cup when it faces no less than powerhouse leader Petron Blaze in Sunday’s main game at the Astrodome.

    The Batang Pier are currently tied with idle Alaska at the bottom half of the standings with identical 3-4 records. But with majority of the teams bunched closely in the standings, Globalport has a very good chance of crashing the quarterfinals and earning a first-ever playoff appearance.

    “One thing I admire about my players is they are willing to listen and accept the challenge. I hope we could gate-crash (the quarterfinals),” said Globalport coach Junel Baculi.

    Globalport is fresh from a 91-79 win over Meralco in a game that saw the team fight back from a 20-point first half deficit.

    The Batang Pier and the Boosters (7-1) clash at 6:30 p.m. in a game that marked the first meeting between big man Jay Washington and his former team since the trade that sent him to Globalport.

    With two games left on its schedule, Baculi is convinced his team can win both of them as long as the Batang Pier learn and stick together.

    “At least, we surpassed the two wins we had last conference. But it’s not yet over,” he said. “Malakas kalaban namin this Sunday so we just need to learn every game we play, and hopefully, we can be a gate-crasher in the quarterfinals.”

    Winner of its last seven games for a league-leading 7-1 slate, Petron has nothing to lose even if it drops its final game of the eliminations.

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    But Petron rookie coach Gee Abanilla said the Boosters want to build the right foundation and come with a mindset every game to play hard as they prepare for the quarterfinals.

    “We don’t want to think about the streak. We just want to improve every game,” said Abanilla, whose team is coming off a heart-stopping 103-100 thriller over the Alaska Aces on Friday.

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