With Barako in free fall, Denok Miranda, veterans decide to take Bull by the horns
Dennis Miranda and fellow veterans have decided to lead from the front for Barako Bull. Jerome Ascano

VETERAN guard Dennis Miranda has been in the PBA long enough to know that despite a frustrating losing run, a team just can’t afford to lose hope and fall apart.

Barako Bull opened the season with five straight losses under new coach Koy Banal, but Miranda worked on rallying the team with the help of fellow veterans Mick Pennisi, Willy Wilson and JC Intal.

The result is a two-game winning streak, including Wednesday’s morale-boosting 85-78 thumping of erstwhile unbeaten Alaska to resuscitate the Energy’s playoff bid in the Philippine Cup.

[See Barako Bull rides hot hands of Denok Miranda to deal Alaska first loss of season]

“Nasusubukan din ang character namin, kasi 0-5 kami. Eh kung magwa-watak-watak kami, walang mangyayari so amin, so as veterans kami ni Mick and Wilson, JC, na-gather namin 'yung mga bata,” said the 5-foot-11 Miranda.

The veteran guard, who has won two PBA championships in his career, also noted the Energy are striving to become a defense-oriented team in the mold of the Aces.

Before Wednesday’s game, Alaska entered as the league’s top defensive team, holding its opponent to just 71.5 points per contest.

But the Aces ran into the Energy’s brick-wall defense and shot just 39 percent from the floor (30-of-76).

“Siguro, yung depensa namin, bago namin kalabanin yung Alaska, sila ang tinitingnan namin, like yung aggressiveness nila at non-stop basketball nila. Eh na-inspire kami sa laro nila kaya ganun ang energy namin,” explained the 32-year-old Barako Bull playmaker.

The Energy will try to extend their winning streak on Sunday when they face the Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters in Binan, Laguna.

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