MANILA – Petron Blaze came out blazing in the second half en route to a convincing 110-89 victory against defending champion Rain or Shine in Game 4 of the semifinals to clinch the remaining finals slot of the PBA Governor’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Import Paul Millsap and pointguard Alex Cabagnot combined forces to build a 13-0 run at the start of the third period to give the Boosters a commanding 62-40 lead.
The Elasto Painters bounced back in the fourth but their best was only enough to cut a biggest 25-lead of Petron to 10 points, 89-79, on Gabe Norwood’s triple.
Already playing without top playmaker Paul Lee due to injury, the Elasto Painters lost another key player early in the game after top gunner Jeff Chan’s sprained his left ankle.
While Rain or Shine import Arizona Reid could not draw much local supports, his counterpart Millsap has enough from Petron’s local scorers Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot who scored 27 and 23 points, mostly from the big arc, respectively.
Millsap had 34 points while Reid, last year’s best import, came up with a game-high 41 points to no avail as Rain or Shine failed to follow up it’s 77-70 win in Game 3 last Saturday.
”I gave credit to the ROS organization. They pushed us to the limit,” Petron headcoach Gee Abanilla said in his first final appearance as headcoach.
Abanilla also credited Petron’s 3-1 victory to his former mentor and Rain or Shine headcoach Yeng Guiao.
”Aside from the leadership I got from coach Yeng, I also learned to be a competitor 101 percent,” Abanilla said.
The Petron Boosters will face San Mig Coffee in the best-of-seven championship which will start on Friday.
The Coffee Mixers eliminated Meralco, 3-1, in other semifinals showdown.*PNA
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