IMPORT Joshua Dollard sparked a frenetic fourth-quarter attack to lead Barako Bull to a 110-106 win over fancied Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 28-year-old Dollard fired 15 of the team’s first 22 points in the final period to give Barako Bull a 101-91 lead that cushioned a last-ditch fightback by Rain or Shine over the final four minutes.
Dollard finished with a game-high 44 points as Barako Bull atoned for a heartbreaking loss to Ginebra in its debut and pulled off just its first win in eight meetings against Rain or Shine over the last seven conferences.
“I hope we learned from our last game. Though we’re ahead by 10 points, natapos four points ang lamang. I think that’s (blowing a late-game lead) our problem,” said Barako Bull coach Bong Ramos.
Ramos said he’s just happy to have a do-it-all import in Dollard, who despite being with the team just less than two weeks has managed to provide the much-needed inside-outside scoring for the Energy.
“He (Dollard) remembers the plays, but sometimes, he’s just confused because we have a lot of options. Eh he’s not used to that so what I told him, 'If you forget the play, don’t stop,'” he said.
Jeff Chan, Paul Lee and big man Beau Belga rallied the Elasto Painters to within 106-108, but time just wasn’t on their side as two Willie Wilson free throws with 2.6 seconds left slammed the door on the losing finalists in the last Philippine Cup.
It was a sorry loss for the Elasto Painters, who squandered a 16-point second-quarter lead after allowing the Energy to pepper them with 12 three-pointers in the game.
Dollard also finished with 19 rebounds in a fitting follow-up to his 45-point effort in a 104-108 overtime loss to Ginebra on Friday. Two-time PBA MVP Willie Miller added 19 points and eight rebounds, while Dennis Miranda and Ronjay Buenafe chipped in 13 and 11, respectively.
Import Alexander McLean led Rain or Shine with 21 points and 16 rebounds, while Lee and Chan added 15 and 14, respectively.
Barako Bull (110) - Dollard 44, Miller 19, Miranda 13, Buenafe 11, Pennisi 9, Intal 7, Lastimosa 2, Wilson 2, Marcelo 2, Isip 1, Jensen 0, Fortuna 0, Pena 0.
Rain or Shine (106) - McLean 21, Lee 15, Chan 14, Belga 11, Norwood 10, Uyloan 9, Almazan 9, Tiu 5, Arana 4, Rodriguez 4, Cruz 2, Nuyles 2, Tang 0, Teng 0, Ibanes 0.
Quarterscores: 22-24; 46-53; 79-79; 110-106