Urbiztondo Leads Barako Bull Comeback

Wily point guard Josh Urbiztondo led a big comeback in the fourth quarter as Barako Bull hacked out a 91-86 victory over Air21 in the PBA Commissioner's Cup last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The 5-foot-11 Urbiztondo hit 13 of his 15 points in the payoff period as the Energy Cola overcame an 11-point deficit and 81-71 on a jumper by Air21's Mike Cortez with 5:50 remaining in the game to tie Petron Blaze for second at 3-1.

Urbiztondo led a decisive 17-0 blast where he had eight points, three steals - including two off Cortez - and an assist that set up an open triple by Mick Pennisi as Barako Bull gained an 88-81 lead with 1:45 to play.

Air21's last gasp came when import Michael Dunigan scored on a tip-in and KG Canaleta drained a three-pointer to pull within 88-86, 19.4 seconds left.

But Urbiztondo sealed the win with a pair of freethrows that made it 90-86 with 18.4 ticks to go as Barako bounced back from Sunday's 77-73 loss to Alaska.

"We have to be satisfied for this win, I think this is the most important win for us," said Barako Bull consultant Rajko Toroman, who lost his other point guard Jonas Villanueva with a hamstring injury with 10 minutes left in the game.

It was also the Energy Cola's second comeback win this conference after their 98-88 overtime triumph against Globalport last Feb. 10. In that game, they erased a 10-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation.

Urbiztondo missed 8-of-9 shots in the first three quarters before hitting 4-of-6 from the floor in the fourth highlighted by three triples.

"Josh didn't play a good first three quarters, but he was one of the best in the end. This team has character and they're fighting 'til the end. We're fighting and we found a way to win this game," added Toroman, who got 23 points and 15 rebounds from import Evan Brock.


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