In a game that was filled with so much heat and rivalry, it was a combination of timely baskets that would close the door on Petron’s 4th quarter comeback. It was a game filled with lots of silly mistakes, forced shots and drives that led to easy baskets for TnT. It was particularly troubling that Petron’s star guard Alex Cabagnot tallied just 4 points in the loss and turned the ball over 4 times.

 After the unique combination of Arwind and JWash pushed Petron to an early 1st quarter lead that ended with a Chris Lutz 3 right at the buzzer, TNT would storm back in the game in the 2nd quarter, thanks to Larry Fonacier scoring 10 of his 21 points in the 2nd. Petron would then slowly get dominated by a combination of dribble drives and kick outs that resulted from Petron playing bad and unsound defense.

To be honest, it felt like Petron really deserved to lose this game. There was no sense of urgency, despite the supposed rivalry between these two teams and the need for them to win a few more games to gain some ground in the standing.

Too many blow rotations, too much gambling on steals, not much positional defense involved and two stupid lapses in judgement were what doomed Petron. Arwind Santos was a huge culprit. He tallied 3 steals, yes. But he gave up maybe 5 more possessions where the opponent got a wide open lane to attack the interior anchored by a not-so-good-defender in JayWash. He would also be called for a lane violation on an inbound pass that is unguarded. Olsen Racela would also be called for a technical foul because he apparently delayed the game (didn’t know how. Petron was given a warning earlier in the game for a similar infraction).

This reckless defense would give Petron one final chance to make a comeback but an Arwind turnover in the fastbreak stopped whatever momentum Petron was gaining and might have been the beginning of the end for Petron.

The Petronovela moves on.

However, something for Petron fans (like me, huhu) to stick to: there is SOME hope to be taken from the JayWash/Spider combination that Olsen was forced to trot out today. It’s the kind of “position”-less basketball that I’ve always liked to see — both players are athletic and strong enough to withstand the rigors of playing inside the paint but versatile enough to take slower big men out in the perimeter. This is something that should be experimented more (regardless of chemistry issues between the two).

Statistical Leaders for each team (PBB/TNT):

Points: Lutz (18) / Fonacier (21)

Rebounds: Santos (11) / Castro (9)

Assists: Santos (6) / Castron & Alapag (5)

Steals: Santos (3) / Aban (2)

Blocks: None / Aban (1)