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PBA: Barako blows Sorento

Games Tomorrow
4:15 p.m. – Blackwater vs Purefoods
7 p.m. – Talk ‘N Text vs Globalport

While Kia Motors is headed to Macau for the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri fight, Barako Bull is headed most likely to the quarterfinals.

The Energy blew away the Sorento, 87-71, yesterday and staked a claim at a playoff spot in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum where only 10 of the 12 ballclubs will advance to the quarterfinals after the single round eliminations.

The Energy hit 13 of 17 free throws in taking the half, 46-39, and never faltered the rest of the way.

Barako Bull (1-5), Kia (1-6) and fellow newcomer Blackwater (0-6) are locked in a trench war for the 10th and last berth, with Kia initially hugging the inside track by virtue of its opening day victory over Blackwater. But Barako Bull has now seized the pole position by ending a five-game losing start, leaving the two other ballclubs at a dilemma.

Barako Bull and Blackwater still have a date on Nov. 26, however, the outcome yet having a bearing on which team will be aboard the last bus to the quarters.

Regardless, Pacquiao’s Sorento team will be on the plane to Macau in the next few days courtesy of its playing-coach, who will square off with an unbeaten challenger for the WBO welterweight championship on Nov. 23.

None of these was lost on Barako Bull coach Koy Banal.

“Yes, I read about it na championship daw yung game namin and how they wanted to use it as a motivation against us,” said Banal. “Siguro, silently, nag-stick yon sa minds ng mga players namin.”

Rookie Jake Pascual from San Beda came through with a breakout game, pouring 21 points on 9 of 13 shooting with 12 rebounds and 3 steals, spoiling the 21-point game of LA Revilla, the hero of Kia’s inaugural victory over Blackwater.

Meantime, veteran center Dorian Pena, out for eight months with an Achilles injury, is reportedly set to return, giving Barako Bull something to look forward to, especially if it make the quarters where it will meet the twice-to-beat No. 3 seed.

Meanwhile, Paul Lee had four 3-pointers in the game and 11 of his 20 points in the third quarter as Rain or Shine shut down Meralco 107-79, in the Petron Saturday Special at the University of Southeastern Philippines gym in Davao City.

The bruising encounter saw ROS coach Yeng Guiao getting ejected in the second quarter and several players from both sides getting involved in separate squabbles. The Elasto Painters picked up their fifth win in seven games, while the Bolts, who absorbed their second blowout loss this conference after a 41-point loss to Alaska, slid to 3-3.

RAIN OR SHINE 107 – Lee 20, Chan 16, Cruz Jeri. 15, Almazan 14, Belga 11, Tang 10, Teng 8, Uyloan 3, Ibanes 3, Quinahan 3, Norwood 2, Cruz Jerv. 2.

MERALCO 79 – Macapagal 16, Dillinger 12, Caram 11, Hodge 9, Hugnatan 7, Anthony 6, Ildefonso 6, Guevarra 4, David 4, Atkins 2, Ferriols 2, Cortez 0, Buenafe 0.

Quarters: 27-19; 51-38; 87-56; 107-79

Sunday (1st Game):
BARAKO BULL 87 – Pascual 22, Wilson 11, Miranda 9, Lanete 8, Garcia 7, Pennisi 6, Lastimosa 5, Intal 5, Marcelo 5, Hubalde 4, Paredes 3, Salvador 2, Pena 0, Silva 0.

KIA 71 – Revilla 21, Cervantes 15, Alvarez 8, Webb 6, Jaime 5, Buensuceso 4, Lingganay 3, Pascual 3, Padilla 2, Dehesa 2, Thiele 1, Sanga 1, Ighalo 0, Alonzo 0, Raymundo 0.

Quarters: 22-14; 46-39; 66-53; 87-71