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PBA: Barako back to winning ways

RR Garcia

Games Tomorrow (Mall of Asia Arena)
4:15 p.m. – Alaska vs NLEX
7 p.m. – Meralco vs TNT

Barako Bull is not done yet.

Foiled the last time by San Miguel Beer, the Energy went to RR Garcia and the sophomore guard responded with a career-high 26 points as the Energy Cola won over the struggling Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 112-103, in the PBA Governors’ Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Garcia was extra hot in the second half, particularly in the third period where he scored 10 points to help erase a six-point deficit (57-63) as they took an 80-73 lead entering the final frame.

Averaging just 8.4 points in the team’s first five games, Garcia shot 11-of-19 from the field, including 4-of-7 from the three-point territory with three rebounds and three assists in nearly 31 minutes of action to help Barako wheel back to the top of standings with a franchise best 5-1 card.

The former Far Eastern University star, who started his career with Globalport, eclipsed his previous lhigh of 22 points in a game against NLEX during the Philippine Cup.

A three-pointer by Dylan Ababou gave the Energy Cola their biggest lead of the game, 89-75, with 10:36 to play.

Rain or Shine guards Paul Lee and Chris Tiu tried to rally the Elasto Painters with their outside bombs but their efforts still fell short.
Lee’s triple closed the gap at 95-102 with 4:29 remaining in the game.

However, Barako Bull’s 7-foot-2 import Liam McMorrow converted a tip-in and following a missed shot by Tiu, Garcia knocked down his fourth trey to hike their lead to 12 points, 107-95, 3:27 left.

McMorrow finished with 32 points and 25 rebounds as Barako Bull got back on the winning track after losing to San Miguel Beer, 113-116, last Wednesday.

“I’d like to give it to the players, they really showed that they have character. Especially in the third when Rain or Shine made a comeback,” said Barako Bull coach Koy Banal.

“RR was fantastic. They switched on him (with taller defenders). When he can’t penetrate, he makes the outside shot, and when they close out on him, penetrates. That shows his character,” he added.

Banal said he was cautious against Rain or Shine that at halftime break, he reminded his players how dangerous the Elasto Painters are.

“I reminded the boys that if there is a team that knows how to play the right way… it’s Rain or Shine. The only way to beat this team is to play the game the right way,” said Banal.

“It’s only numbers (5-1 record), it won’t do us good if we’ll remain here. We just have to finish the job. Focus on the task at hand and finish it,” added Banal, whose team will next play Globalport on Wednesday.

As for ROS, the team dropped to 1-4 – nearing the team’s worst start at 1-5 under coach Yeng Guiao, who took over in 2010.

BARAKO 112 – McMorrow 32, Garcia 26, Yeo 19, Ababou 10, Lastimosa 8, Chua 7, Pascual 6, Lanete 2, Wilson 2, Intal 0, Hubalde 0, Maierhofer 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 103 – McKines 41, Lee 21, Tiu 7, Uyloan 6, Norwood 6, Almazan 6, Cruz Jericho 5, Arana 3, Ibanes 2, Chan 2, Belga 2, Quinahan 2, Tang 0, Cruz Jervy 0.

Quarters: 18-27, 52-48, 80-73, 112-103.

SAN MIGUEL 100 – Reid 27, Ross 19, Lassiter 13, Santos 11, Fajardo 10, Cabagnot 8, Lutz 5, Espinas 4, Tubid 3, Reyes 0.

GINEBRA 85 – Johnson 22, Urbiztondo 20, Aguilar 16, Slaughter 6, Caguioa 6, Mercado 5, Brondial 4, Tenorio 3, Monfort 3, Pena 0, Marcelo 0, Helterbrand 0.

Quarters: 22-19, 41-40, 71-62, 100-85.