Struggling Petron eyes boost vs. Globalport

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Thursday, January 9, 2014


MANILA—Petron Blaze tries to bounce back and regain solo second spot as it battles Globalport, while Alaska and Meralco seek to break away from a four-way logjam in the 39th PBA Philippine Cup elimination round tonight at the Araneta Coliseum.

After a sorry loss to Barako Bull 92-88 last Wednesday, the Blaze Boosters remain confident they can overcome the challenge of Batang Pier, whom they demolished 97-87, in their first meeting on Nov. 20.

The Blaze Boosters face Batang Pier at 8 p.m. following the 5:45 p.m. encounter between Alaska and Meralco.

Despite the setback to Energy Cola, coach Gee Abanilla’s Blaze Boosters remain in a tie at second position along with Rain or Shine with similar 8-3 win-loss slate, just half a win behind solo leader Ginebra, which is toting a 9-2 card.

On the other hand, Globalport is locked at sixth to ninth along with Alaska, Meralco and San Mig Coffee at similar 4-7 records. Thus, coach Richie Ticzon’s Batang Pier as well as Meralco Bolts and the Aces need badly a big win today to move a step up over cellar dweller Air 21. The express rekindled their hope of making it to the quarterfinal round following a 102-100 upset win over defending titlist Talk ‘N Text also the other day for a 3-9 record.

The 6’10” center June Mar Fajardo of Petron, who has been sidelined for several games due to knee injury, remains a doubtful starter, but coach Abanilla may force him to play tonight to regain winning form.

They need Fajardo to contain the 6’7” Jay Washington, 6’6” Erik Menk, 6’7” Kelly Nabong and rookie 6’6” center Justin Chua.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2014.

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