Finally. After going five games without a win, Barako Bull Energy nailed their first W of the season after a lopsided 87-71 routing of another slumping team, expansion team Kia Sorento, Sunday afternoon at the Araneta Coliseum.
Rookie Jake Pascual from San Beda College finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead Barako Bull, who relied on tough defense to pull away for the win.
The first meeting between the two slumping teams opened to a heated trade of baskets, leading to an 11-11 deadlock halfway through the quarter. Barako Bull however would embark on a 9-0 run to pull away late in the quarter, leading to a 22-14 edge at the end of the opening period.
Looking to bounce back after faltering late in the first period, Kia were able to slowly trim Barako Bull’s edge, coming within striking distance, 28-29, with seven minutes left on the clock. Two successful free throw charities from LA Revilla gave Kia their first taste of the lead since the first few minutes of the previous quarter, 31-30. Both squads were resume trading baskets, but late in the quarter, Barako Bull would rally to pull away anew. At halftime, the score stood at 46-39, in favor of Barako Bull.
Barako Bull would continue to pace the game well into the third quarter, finally bringing the margin to double digits, 58-47 following back-to-back fastbreak lay-ups from Paolo Hubalde and Chico Lanete, with five minutes left on the clock. Barako Bull would continue to dominate Kia defensively, holding their opponents to only six more points in the remaining five minutes to build a 66-53 lead at the end of the quarter.
Kia would only continue to struggle to put the easy shot, as Barako Bull would only continue to pad their lead. Barako Ball entered the final two minutes with the lead at almost 20, 82-63. A sudden 7-0 rally saw Kia trim the lead to twelve, 82-70, but a lay-up from Chito Jaime to answer back for Barako Ball would be the final nail in the coffin.
Willy Wilson added 12 points for the Energy. LA Revilla led Kia with 22 points, while Reil Cervantes had 15. Barako Bull are currently at 1-5, while Kia slide to 1-6. Kia have yet to taste victory since routing fellow expansion team Blackwater Elite in last month’s season opener.