The Barako Bull Energy Cola have finally proven themselves worthy of a spot in the playoffs, taking home their third win in four games after going without a W in their first five assignments in the conference following a 97-82 dismantling of expansion team Blackwater Elite, Wednesday evening at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Barako Bull forced Blackwater to misfire early in the first quarter, holding them to a lowly four points in the first five minutes of the period. While their opponents struggled to find the easy look, the Energy meanwhile found success attacking the basket, eventually closing out the quarter with a sizeable 22-9 lead. Though Blackwater’s offense improved in the second quarter, the Energy still proved to be the better-shooting squad, entering halftime still leading by double digits, 41-30.
The Elite were able to come within nine points, 32-41 to open the quarter, but things soon took a drastic turn. A 17-6 rally in the next few minutes saw Barako Bull lead by as many as 23, 61-38. Tempers flared halfway through the quarter when an argument broke out between Barako Bull’s Mic Pennisi and Blackwater’s Ogie Menor. Cooler heads prevailed however, and Pennisi, who instigated the spat, was slapped with a technical foul. Barako Bull led by as many as 25 in the remaining minutes of the quarter, and eventually closed out the period comfortably on top, 72-48.
The fourth quarter saw the Elite trim the lead to as little as 13 points in the final two minutes, but could not mount a major comeback in time.
R.R. Garcia took home Best Player of the Game honors after leading the charge with 16 points. He managed to sink three out of four three-point attempts. Carlo Lastimosa contributed another 16 points to the Barako Bull cause. Bryan Faundo led Blackwater with 23 points.
Barako Bull improves to 3-6, while Blackwater slides to 0-9. The league newcomers have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Photo by Nuki Sabio of PBA Images
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