by Tito S. Talao
Games Today (Smart Araneta)
3:30 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Alaska
5:45 p.m. – Meralco vs Globalport
Manila, Philippines – It takes him a while to heat up, but once he does Air21 import Herve Lamizana detonates like a megaton bomb.
Scoreless in the first half, Lamizana exploded for 21 of his 24 points in the third quarter last night as the Express steamrolled past Barako Bull, 103-85, for their second win in the PLDT myDSL PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
At 2-1, Air21 moved to solo third. But it will eventually share second spot with the loser of the featured game between co-leaders San Miguel Beer and Talk ‘N Text which was in progress at presstime.
Getting crushed by a speeding locomotive almost would have been a better deal for Joshua Dollard (12 points, 7 turnovers) and the Energy Cola, who fell behind, 93-58, in the fourth quarter before the roaring Express ran of tracks.
Running on maximum engine power, there was no stopping the Express, who also got 17 points on 4 of 4 three-point shooting from recent acquisition Aldrech Ramos, traded by Globalport for forward Vic Manuel.
“He’s like a diesel,” said Air21 coach Franz Pumaren of Lamizana, who reprised his third quarter blast against Globalport on opening day. “It takes time for him to get started, but he’s almost unstoppable once he does. I also think he’s the best defensive player out there right now.”
Of Ramos, drafted 5th overall out of Far Eastern U in 2012 by Barako Bull before getting traded to B-Meg (now San Mig Super Coffee), Pumaren said: “With his outside shooting, he gives us an additional dimension.”
In the second match, Talk ‘n Text spoiled the debut of new San Miguel import Kevin Jones and the return of June Mar Fajardo when they downed the Beermen, 107-99.
The win allowed the Tropang Texters to retain their clean state despite losing head coach Norman Black to two technical fouls in the third period. The Beermen on the other hand suffered their first loss for the conference.
AIR 21 103 – Lamizana 24, Ramos 17, Cardona 15, Taulava 14, Burtscher 8, Matias 7, Villanueva 5, Yeo 5, Jaime 2, Poligrates 2, Sharma 2, Atkins 2, Borboran 0, Camson 0.
BARAKO 85 – Intal 18, Miranda 18, Dollard 12, Miller 10, Pennisi 9, Lastimosa 6, Jensen 4, Buenafe 4, Fortuna 3, Wilson 1, Deutchman 0, Isip 0, Marcelo 0, Pena 0.
Quarters: 16-17, 45-32, 75-57, 103-85
TALK N’ TEXT 107 – Howell 38, Alapag 18, De Ocampo 16, Castro 10, Fonacier 8, Canaleta 6, Reyes Ry. 5, Aban 3, Carey 2, Williams 1, Reyes Ro. 0, Baclao 0.
SAN MIGUEL 99 – Jones 35, Hubalde 14, Lassiter 12, Lutz 9, Santos 9, Fajardo 7, Mercado 5, Kramer 4, Tubid 2, Ross 2, Maierhofer 0, Duncil 0.
Quarters: 26-19, 51-38, 77-68, 107-99