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PBA: Purefoods takes on Barako five

Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. – Purefoods vs Barako Bull
7 p.m. – Alaska vs Meralco

The battle for the twice-to-beat advantage intensifies today as defending champion Purefoods and solo leader Meralco seek crucial victories against separate rivals today in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Purefoods aims to ride on the crest of its triple overtime win against Talk ‘N Text over the weekend when it battles Barako Bull in the 4:15 p.m. opener before Meralco looks to tighten its grip on the solo lead against Alaska at 7 p.m.

With the race for the two playoff bonuses still wide open, both teams are eager to keep their winning ways.

Purefoods plans to continue its form, especially after needing three extra periods to defeat TNT, 118-117, at the over-hot University of Southeastern Philippines gym in Davao City last Saturday.

Import Denzel Bowles played heroically for the Hotshots with 30 points, including the game-winning shot with 7.1 seconds left.

Bowles’ basket was so difficult, his body almost turning back to the basket, that it was later called ‘magical’. He also had 15 rebounds and four blocked shots as Purefoods gained a share of second at 6-3 with Talk ‘N Text and Rain or Shine.

The energy-sapping out-of-town duel didn’t prevent Purefoods from resuming practice yesterday at Ronac gym, with James Yap even saying that the win in Davao gave them renewed vigor.

“Maganda naman ang naging ensayo, focus namin is itong game na. Sobrang importante iyung naging panalo namin sa Talk ’N Text, kaya mataas ang energy,” Yap said after yesterday’s practice.

Purefoods faces a Barako team that has lost its last three games, including Friday’s 98-85 setback to Meralco that sent the Energy down to 4-5.