Manila, Philippines – Petron Blaze banked on a fiery third quarter run before repulsing Meralco’s spirited rally en route to a 77-73 win last night, giving the Boosters a perfect 7-0 slate in the 2014 PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Dipolog City Coliseum.
Veteran point guard Alex Cabagnot, only in his second game after missing the team’s first five matches as he recovered from tore plantar fasciitis (right foot), led the Boosters with 17 points and added eight rebounds and six assists.
Marcio Lassiter contributed 16 and reigning Most Valuable Player Arwind Santos chipped in 14 points in the Petron Saturday Special.
Ex-Meralco guard Chris Ross had a solid outing in his first game against his former team as he scattered eight points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals, while sophomore center June Mar Fajardo had 12 points and 19 boards.
However, it was when the 6-foot-10 Fajardo sat on the bench to start the third quarter when Petron unleashed a big run behind the three-guard unit of Cabagnot, Lassiter and Ross teaming up with Santos and forward Doug Kramer.
That allowed the Gee Abanilla-mentored squad to turn a 48-50 halftime deficit to 73-57 advantage entering the final frame.
The Bolts battled back behind the strong plays of shooter John Wilson and forward Reynel Hugnatan, who played despite a sprained ankle he sustained last week.
But the Boosters survived the onslaught to keep their record perfect.
Meralco, which is coming off a 72-64 come-from-behind win opposite San Mig Super Coffee last Wednesday, dropped to 3-4.
Wilson and Gary David led the Bolts with 16 points each, while Hugnatan and Rabeh Al-Hussaini contributed 13 points apiece.
Petron managed to win despite Meralco’s control of the rebounding department, 57-52, although the two teams struggled with their shooting from the field, as the Boosters converted just 29-82 while the Bolts made 28-of-77 of their attempts.
Meanwhile, the league’s next playdate will be on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
San Mig battles Barako Bull at 5:45 p.m. before Talk N’ Text faces Rain or Shine at 8 p.m. (Waylon Galvez)
Petron 77 – Cabagnot 17, Lassiter 16, Santos 14, Fajardo 12, Kramer 7, Ross 6, Lanete 3, Lutz 2
Meralco 73 – Wilson 16, David 16, Hugnatan 13, Al-Hussaini 13, Dillinger 8 , Cortez 3, Caram 2, Sena 2, Allado 0, Timberlake 0, Guevarra 0, Salvacion 0.
Quarters: 17-18; 34-37; 64-53; 77-73.