Manila, Philippines—2011 titleholder Petron Blaze Boosters settled a 101-94 triumph in the PBA Governor’s Cup quarterfinals against sister team Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings Thursday night at the Mall of Asia Arena, and is set to face reigning champion Rain or Shine Elasto Painters for Playoff Semifinals.
“We’re very happy about this win. We just got lucky because we played a very tired Ginebra team. It’s a good thing that the Petron players focused and stay together,” Petron head Coach Gie Abanilla said.
Ginebra played its fourth game in six days after a knockout match with Talk ‘N Text for the last quarterfinals two days ago.
“Ginebra played a good game,” admitted Abanilla. “They fought until the very end,” he added.
Furthermore, things became a lot easier for the Boosters as Ginebra leader and top gun Mark Caguioa went down with a suspected MCL injury just 14 minutes into the game.
At the end of the match-up, Petron import Elijah Millsap finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists. June Mar Fajardo also dominated the shaded area, scoring 20 points on 9-out-of-10 shooting from the field. Arwind Santos had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
On the other hand, for the Kings, import Dior Lowhorn led with 31 points and 13 boards; LA Tenorio added 20 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Josh Urbiztondo knocked in 14 points, including four three-pointers that catch up with the Boosters in the homestretch.
Meanwhile, Petron is to fight a best-of-five semis with the Painters who earlier defeated the GlobalPort Batang Pier Thursday night on quarterfinals double-header in a 108-106 win.
Adding to the fact that two of the country’s most-notable basketball teams will fight in semis, RoS and Petron will be coached by Yeng Guio and protégé Gie Abanilla.
“I learned a lot from coach Yeng. His leadership skill is very high. I admire that about him. Going against this guy is such a challenge for me,” Abanilla stressed out.
“The first round meeting has no meaning right now. They’re a tough team, a very well-coached team and our work is cut out for us,” he added.
“Our initial goal has been accomplished, which was to make the semifinals, but we want to go further. Nandito na rin naman tayo,” The Petron coach emphasized.
Petron 101 – Millsap 22, Fajardo 20, Santos 17, Cabagnot 12, Lassiter 11, Lanete 8, Kramer 8, Lutz 3, Tubid 0, Ildefonso 0
Ginebra 94 – Lowhorn 31, Tenorio 20, Urbiztondo 14, Baracael 11, Helterbrand 6, Mamaril 4, Caguioa 4, Ellis 2, Maierhofer 2, Ababou 0, Wilson 0, Raymundo 0
Quarter scoring: 24-25, 58-42, 83-69, 101-94
Mary Sarah Inciso Gabornes
ABCom Intern/ Leyte Normal University