PETRON Blaze waxed hot from start to finish to smash Rain or Shine, 99-84, and forge a three-way tie for the early lead in the PBA Governors Cup on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Import Elijah Millsap finished with a double-double of 33 points and 13 rebounds in a game the Boosters utterly dominated to the delight of coach Gee Abanilla, a longtime deputy of Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
Playmaker Alex Cabagnot also came out huge for Petron after contributing 16 and 11 boards as the Boosters grabbed a share of the lead with the Elasto-Painters and Globalport at 2-1.
Abanilla said the years he worked under Guiao during their time at Red Bull served him well.
“Definitely nakatulong yun since matagal ko din nakasama si coach Yeng, so marami rin akong natutunan sa kanya,” said Abanilla. “I like the way he makes adjustments during games. That’s one thing I try to imitate.”
Guiao, however, was a picture of disappointment on the bench as he saw his previously unbeaten Painters make just 34.5 percent (29-of-84) of their shots from the field.
Worse, his three players coming off a stint with Gilas Pilipinas - Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood and Beau Belga - went a combined 4-of-21 from the field and finished with a total of 13 points.
Arizona Reid tried to atone for the trio's poor performance with 30 points and 14 rebounds, while Paul Lee and JR Quinahan added 12 and 11, respectively.
“We were lucky because medyo di pumapasok mga tira nila (Elasto Painters). They were still out of rhythm especially with the national team players coming back to the team,” said Abanilla.
Petron 99 - Millsap 33, Cabagnot 16, Santos 13, Fajardo 12, Lanete 6, Lutz 5, Kramer 5, Tubid 5, Lassiter 4, Yeo 0.
Rain or Shine 84 - Reid 30, Lee 12, Quinahan 11, Tang 8, Belga 6, Cruz 5, Chan 5, Matias 3, Norwood 2, Arana 2, Tiu 0, Ibanes 0.
Quarterscores: 27-16, 56-36, 81-68, 99-84