‘Holding court’

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

MANILA — Veterans Dorian Pena, Denok Miranda and Mick Pennisi combined for 48 points as Barako Bull crushed Globalport Batang Pier, 108-95, in the 39th PBA Philippine Cup elimination round at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City yesterday.

The Energy Cola, led by Pena, Miranda and Pennisi, struck hard in the pivotal period, outscoring Batang Pier 26-16 to carve their fourth win in 11 matches and moved to solo eighth spot in the standing.

The 38-year-old Pennisi connected a triple on top of the key to grab the lead for good, 62-59, with still 8:02 remaining. That also marked the Australian-born Pennisi’s 800th triples in 13 years in the professional league. He was the second player in the PBA to do so after the 6’9 Pennisi joined the PBA as direct hire by Red Bull in 2000.

“We came from a heartbreak loss to Rain or Shine. It’s part of the game. I told them we approached Christmas with a win against Meralco. This will be our last game this year, let’s approach New Year with a bang. I am happy they responded. In all our games, we were the underdog. We were able to contain Solomon Mercado and Terrence Romeo. At least we finished 2013 with a win,” said Barako Bull coach Bong Ramos.

With the setback, Batang Pier dropped to a tie from fifth to sixth with Alaska Aces.

Both are toting identical 4-6 win-loss slates. But as a consolation to their third straight setback, the 32-year-old 6’7” forward Jay Washington also scored his 4,000th point in eight years in the league. He joined the PBA as no. 1 overall pick by Air 21 in 2005.

Miranda topscored for the Energy Cola with 19 points, Pena settled for 15 points and 10 rebounds while Pennisi finished with 14. Rookie Carlo Lastimosa added 12. Jay Washington led Batang Pier with 30 points, Terrence Romero added 16 and Solomon Mercado had 12.

Meanwhile, the on-going elimination round of the Philippine Cup takes a five-day break and will resume on Saturday with a double-header also the MOA Arena featuring Talk ‘N Text against Alaska at 3:30 p.m. and Meralco against cellar dweller Air 21 Express at 5:45 p.m.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 30, 2013.


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