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    Streaking Boosters clash with struggling Express

    Feb 28, 2013

    A REFRESHED Petron Blaze tries to stretch its winning streak in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup by taking on hard-luck Air21 Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    Game time is set at 5:15 p.m.

    The Boosters (3-1) are currently on a hot streak, winning their last three assignments since dropping their conference opener against Globalport Batang Pier, 92-94.

    Petron coach Olsen Racela said his team’s 88-86 win against Meralco the last time gave the Boosters an important lesson on playing with consistency and aggressiveness.

    “Yung sinasabi ko last time na this team has to go through adversity, well, a lot of lessons are learned (from the game against Meralco). In the fourth quarter, we weren’t executing on offense and we weren’t playing defense. Ang sama ng depensa namin. They (Bolts) scored 32 points in the fourth (quarter),” rued Racela.

    Nonetheless, the Petron mentor said the Boosters have ample time to study the game tapes and are making the necessary adjustments against an Air21 side that just lost a valuable big man in Rob Reyes.

    The Express center suffered an ACL injury after an awkward landing in the team’s 97-99 loss to Rain or Shine Wednesday night.

    Air21 coach Franz Pumaren said his team’s biggest challenge now is how to match up with Petron, which he believes has the deepest roster among the 10 teams today.

    “In terms of position, Petron is loaded. We just have to play smart down the stretch and hopefully have a strong finishing kick,” Pumaren said as his team tries to snap a three-game losing streak with a win against the Boosters.

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    Michael Dunigan, Air21’s hard-banging import, will be ranged against the cat-quick former NBA veteran Renaldo Balkman, who is coming off another monster performance against the Bolts last week where he poured in 26 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and added five blocks.

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