FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
Published on November 18, 2011

Dennis Miranda came through when his team needed it most as Petron Blaze survived Barako Bull's upset try and hang on to a 75-66 victory yesterday that solidified its place at third place in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. 

Miranda poured in 10 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter including nine in a long stretch that saw the Boosters turning a 54-59 deficit to a commanding 75-64 bulge that resulted in their fourth win in row and seventh overall against three losses that was good enough to send them closer to the pace-setting Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters (7-1) and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (7-2).

"Naging mas aggressive lang ako nung fourth quarter kaya ako nagka-kumpiyansa," said Miranda. Miranda reprised his role in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals wherein he came through a clutch performance that saw Petron Blaze carve out a come-from-behind series win over fierce rival Talk ‘N Text. 

"Parang naglaro sya (Miranda) nung championship, dinala nya ang team lalo na na off si Alex (Cabagnot)," said Petron Blaze coach Ato Agustin. 

Miranda was also stepping up in the absence of talented rookie Chris Lutz, who sat down again after his right hamstring injury recurred, to save the day for the team that is already saddled with injuries to Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Dondon Hontiveros and Jay Washington. 

Arwind Santos fired 15 points, 10 of which also came in the last canto, and spiked his solid effort with his ninth double-double effort in the conference after plucking 14 rebounds while Lordy Tugade, back from a hand injury that sidelined him four months, chipped in 11 markers to help in the cause. 

The Energy, who were led by Willie Miller and Dorian Pena's 16 points each, fell to their fourth defeat against five wins. It was also Barako Bull’s first back-to-back defeats in the conference as it also lost to Rain or Shine 93-82 last Nov. 11. 

The game though was not without some anxious moments after Barako Bull center Mick Pennisi, who scored 12 points including nine from three-point area, was tossed out for picking up a flagrant foul one against Santos late in the game and a technical foul early in the match for continuous complaining. 

Miller and Pena carried Barako on their shoulders in the third quarter when they seized a 52-51 lead going into the final 12 minutes. Petron Blaze bucked a slow start with Tugade and Miranda leading the attack in the second period when it outscored Barako Bull, 23-15, and go into the break with a 35-33 advantage. 

Tugade, who last played in the Governors Cup eliminations last July, had seven points that all came in the second period where Miranda and seasoned Danny Ildefonso also had six points apiece. 

Barako Bull was on the attack mode and played rock-solid defense early to gain an 18-12 lead with Pennisi leading the way with two early triples. (JV) 

 The scores:

 PETRON BLAZE 75 - Miranda 21, Santos 15, Tugade 11, Cabagnot 8, Ildefonso 8, Baclao 4, Guevarra 4, Reyes 2, Yeo 2, Agustin 0, Sharma 0. 

 BARAKO BULL 66 - Miller 16, Pena 16, Pennisi 12, Allado 9, Najorda 4, Salvador 4, Arboleda 3, Seigle 2, Ababou 0, Artadi 0, Salvacion 0. Quarterscores: 12-18, 35-33, 51-52, 75-66 


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