Anthony finished with 22 points and six rebounds, Bolick and Ibeh chipped in 19 points apiece and Tautuaa added 12 as the Batang Pier caught the Aces in their off night this early in the midseason conference.
The good news for the Aces though is that the Batang Pier are likely to play without Pringle, and two others – Garvo Lanete and Bradwyn Guinto – because on injuries. Jarencio confirmed that Pringle is down with foot injury, Lanete is nursing a sprained ankle and Guinto has just undergone knee surgery.
Meralco takes on Blackwater in the 4:30 p.m. opening tussle while Alaska collides with Columbian Dyip in the main game at 6:45 p.m. in a doubleheader that promises intense action right away in the midseason conference where everybody is looking for revenge.
Last Friday, the Hotshots made a giant step towards winning their first All-Filipino title in five years by wresting the lead in the best-of-7 title duel with San Miguel Beer whom they beat in Game 5, 88-86, in a game rich in highlight plays and drama.
The good thing about the 30-year-old Lawal is that he is entering the PBA in good shape as he is still fresh from a stint in the Japanese B. League where he played for the Shiga Lakestars. He averaged 21.0 points, 12.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.5 blocks per game for the Lakestars.
Fajardo, who clinched his sixth straight BPC award in the All-Filipino conference and eighth overall (counting his BPC awards in 2015 Governors’ Cup and 2018 Commissioner’s Cup) finished with 31 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in a yeoman job that helped the Beermen beat the Hotshots, 114-98.
The Hotshots try to fan the fire of their Game 3 win as they gun for a commanding 3-1 lead against the Beermen as they meet in Game 4 of their PBA Philippine Cup championship duel tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
REVENGE is definitely going to be the name of the game next conference in the PBA where at least six returning imports will be around, including the tried and tested Justin Brownlee, Charles Rhodes, Rob Dozier and Denzel Bowles.
Terrence Romeo was the main man in Game 4 after finishing with 20 points. Alex Cabagnot added 18, Arwind Santos 16, while Chris Ross and Von Pessumal chipped in 10 points each as the Beermen sent the Fuel Masters on the brink of frustration on their first stint in the semis.
The Hotshots thus got some good momentum going into today’s 7 p.m. Game 5 at the Cuneta Astrodome, although Magnolia coach Chito Victolero would not want to sound too optimistic about their chances, knowing full well they are up against a Rain or Shine team that is a veteran of countless playoff battles.