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Air 21 embarrasses powerhouse Petron

InterAKTV | 7:31 PM | 0 comments
Mark Isip and the rest of the Air 21 big men dominated the paint as the Express dealt the Petron Blaze Boosters a beating on Friday, 97-76, at the Araneta Coliseum.

"We were aggressive; we outworked them this time around. We made adjustments. We talked to several players," said Air 21 head coach Franz Pumaren.

The talk must have worked, as Pumaren got great games from his twin towers in Isip and Rob Reyes. Isip tallied 22 big points, 20 of them in the first three quarters, while grabbing seven boards to lead the struggling Express. Reyes chipped in 17 points while Bonbon Custodio and Niño Canaleta added 12 each to spread the scoring for Air 21.

The Express started strong in the first, pouring in 34 points early to Petron's 23. The Boosters managed to cut the lead to six at the end of the first half, 48-42, before Isip and Canaleta re-established a double digit lead yet again, 68-56, early in the third. The hot shooting continued for Pumaren's squad, as John Wilson rattled in an open three while Nelbert Omolon converted on a layup on the break to give Air 21 a 21-point lead to end the third.

In the fourth, consecutive hits in the paint by Reyes and Yousef Taha gave the Express a 25-point lead, 85-60. The Boosters failed to find an answer, while Nonoy Baclao sustained the inside presence for the Express with back to back hits in the final two minutes to seal the deal, 97-76.

Santos led the Boosters with 15, while Chris Lutz and Alex Cabagnot added 13 and 11, respectively. With Danny Ildefonso and Junemar Fajardo sidelined due to injuries, Petron had a lean rotation down low, relying on Dorian Peña and Jay Washington in the paint with only Magi Sison as a substitute.

"The coaching staff scouted pretty well. We maximized mismatches from the beginning," added Pumaren, who had Yousef Taha and Nonoy Baclao along with Isip and Reyes to outplay the Petron big men.

With the win, the Express now improve to 2-5 to tie Barako Bull. Petron is still in sixth place with a 3-4 record, with four teams up top with an identical 4-2 win loss card.

The scores:

AIR 21 97 - Isip 22, Reyes 17, Custodio 12, Canaleta 12, Omolon 11, Baclao 9, Wilson 5, Taha 4, Arboleda 3, Ritualo 2, Atkins 0.

PETRON 76 - Santos 15, Lutz 13, Cabagnot 11, Washington 9, Mallari 6, Yeo 6, Lassiter 5, Lanete 4, Pena 4, Miranda 3, Sison 0, Duncil 0.

Quarters: 34-23, 48-42, 79-58, 97-76
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