Anilao trip gives Barako time to reflect, bond after nearly losing tune-up to Mahindra
Koy Banal was left fuming after Barako fell into a 23-point hole. Czar Dancel

BARAKO Bull tries to build camaraderie as it goes for a short escape at a resort in Anilao, Batangas on Friday night.

The overnight team-building session, however, nearly turned into an overnight sermon as the Energy fell into a 17-point hole against Mahindra before making a comeback to force a 87-all draw in their tune-up game earlier in the day.

“Everybody was already focusing on the trip and not on the game eh, Excited lahat,” Energy coach Koy Banal said. “We were not playing as a team.”

Until the Energy tightened defensively after intermission did they finally fight back from a 51-34 deficit in the third quarter and even seize the lead at 64-58 early in the fourth.

“In the second half, we started on the defensive end and then na-pick namin yung tempo namin, so we were able to close it down and get the lead,” Banal said.

Guards Chico Lanete, RR Garcia, and Jeric Fortuna led the comeback that saw them complete a 23-point turnaround.

The Energy trailed at 87-75 after KG Canaleta buried a tough triple, but they caught the Enforcers napping on defense on the other end as Willy Wilson scored an easy layup that knotted the count.

Lanete even had the chance to win the game for the Energy after getting a steal in the Enforcers’ last offensive possession, but he missed a heave from the backcourt.

“Three are a lot of things to work on,” Banal said. “We just have to keep on improving, pushing ourselves to the max.”

For now, the Energy can enjoy their Anilao trip.

“I hope this will trip will give us some benefit,” Banal said.

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