Dunigan delivers for Air21-A A +A
Sunday, March 10, 2013
MANILA - MICHAEL Dunigan fired 35 points as Air 21 Express trounced Globalport Batang Pier, 106-94, on Sunday to snap a five-game losing skid in the 38th PBA Commissioners Cup elimination round at the Araneta Coliseum.
The 6’10” former University of Oregon standout Dunigan led the Express’ rally late in the third quarter to post their second victory against five losses. The loss dropped Globalport to ninth place with a 2-6 slate, just half a game up over Ginebra, which has a 1-5 record.
“With this victory, it eases the pain a little from our previous games. It was disappointing when we lost the lead down the stretch but this time around, we finished strong. Michael Dunigan was playing really well. His mom is here, so he is inspired.
We’re back on track; hopefully, we can sustain this win. I guess finally everything’s falling into place, it’s been so long,” said Air 21 coach Franz Pumaren.
Not even new import Walter Sharpe could turn the tide in Globalport’s favor as he was saddled with muscle pain late in the fourth period. The 6’9” Sharpe, a 32nd overall pick by Seattle Supersonics in 2008, finished with 24 points.
The Express, with Dunigan Mike Cortez and Willie Arboleda at the helm, took an 8-point advantage, 23-15, in the first period. But Globalport, which is courting an early vacation, came back strongly and seized the lead, 50-47, going into the third period.
Globalport refused to bow down easily and threatened the game several times, the last at 94-91 with still 4:27 remaining. Dunigan scored five points, while Wynee Arboleda added four down the stretch to protect the Express lead.
Aside from his big points, Dunigan also hauled down 20 rebounds and two assists while Mark Isip, Arboleda and Mike Cortez ably contributed 12 points each.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 11, 2013.