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PBA: Petron, San Mig gun for semis

JV Casio and LA Tenorio

Games Today (Mall of Asia Arena)
5:45 p.m. – Talk ’N Text vs San Mig Super Coffee (Game 2)
8 p.m. – Petron Blaze vs Barako Bull (Game 2)

Manila, Philippines – Rain or Shine awaits in the semifinals – and maybe not a little while longer. Unless embattled Barako Bull learns to stay in the playoffs against Petron Blaze up to the fourth quarter.

Petron seeks to arrange a best-of-7 showdown with Rain or Shine tonight when the Boosters face the Barako Bull Energy Cola in Game 2 of their 3-game quarterfinal series in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Game time is at 8 p.m. after the encounter between San Mig Super Coffee and defending champion Talk ‘N Text. The Mixers lead the series, 1-0, and can set up a semifinal clash with the winner of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel-Alaska Milk quarters with another win at 5:45 p.m.

The No. 8 Aces forced the No. 1 Kings into a sudden death after winning, 104-87, last Wednesday. Rain or Shine downed Globalport, 106-96, earlier behind a late-game three-point shot by Beau Belga to clinch the first semis berth.

Petron won Game 1 pulling away, 101-88, after Barako faded in the last 12 minutes, while San Mig hammered out a 90-83 victory in its opener against TNT.

“I wish it was a knockout game,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone in the post-game interview. “Hopefully we can repeat on Friday. We got to figure out how to beat Talk ’N Text one more time. We played well from start to finish. We got off to a pretty good start and lead at half time. They didn’t get their three-point shooting going.”

Game 3, if necessary, is Sunday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

TNT coach Norman Black hopes to make a third game imperative.

“We will have to do a better job on the rebounds and limit their second chance points,” said Black. “Also, we must take care of the ball because they scored 20 turnover points last game. It’s a do-or-die for us so we must bring the energy and effort.”

Barako Bull shares the predicament.

After pushing the Boosters against the ropes for most of three quarters, leading, 73-67, the Energy Cola vanished completely in the fourth, buried by a 17-0 run presided by an emotional Marcio Lassiter, who was just returned from the States for his grandmother’s funeral. (Tito S. Talao)