FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
Published on November 26, 2011

NAGA CITY – Arwind Santos knocked in the go-ahead shot then helped Denok Miranda stop Macmac Cardona in the ensuing play as Petron Blaze squeaked past Meralco, 76-75, in their PBA Philippine Cup out-of-town showdown at the Naga City Coliseum here Saturday night. 

The Boosters squandered an 11-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter but hung tough in a battle at the finish as they stayed on a roll and closed in on the front-running Talk n Text Tropang Texters (8-1) with eight wins against three losses.

Santos churned out a double-double game with 23 points and 11 rebounds and was right there to put in big plays in the endgame as the Boosters notched a fifth straight win in the Phoenix Fuel-sponsored road game. 

Petron avenged a 70-80 loss to Meralco in their previous meeting last October 23 and, in the process, sent the Bolts down to fifth place at 7-5. 

Santos sparkled on both ends of the court, having his hand as they stifled Cardona in Meralco’s final possession. 

The Meralco top gun took a forced shot that went way off the target in the closing seconds, allowing the Boosters to escape with the win. 

Cardona, Chico Lanete and Sol Mercado earlier fueled Meralco’s chase that set the stage for the helter-skelter finish. 

The Bolts, who failed to win three straight for the third time in the conference, engaged the Boosters in a nip-and-tuck battle in the crunch but hastened their downfall with two turnovers inside the last minute. 

Santos made it 76-75 on a top-off-the-key jumper after Asi Taulava turned the ball over off a double-teaming Petron defense. 

Lanete committed a passing error with 33 ticks left but Meralco got another lease on life when Santos missed a three-pointer. 

The Bolts quickly sued for time, and coach Ryan Gregorio mapped a play for Cardona with Mercado and Lanete also there as options. 

Alas, even when clogged, Cardona himself forced the situation. 

Cardona did get the inbound but found himself doubled up by Santos and Miranda. 

Instead of kicking the ball out to Mercado or Lanete, Cardona threw a prayer of a shot of his own. (SB)


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