Puerto Princesa City Coliseum
5 p.m. – Tropang TNT vs. Mahindra
Globalport took to the door with a little bit of respect and played the spoiler’s role to the hilt last night after scoring a 125-118 decision of Phoenix Petroleum that knocked the Fuel Masters out of playoff contention in the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Shawn Taggart scored 45 points that went with 18 rebounds and Terrence Romeo dropped 40 on the dumbfounded Phoenix defense as the Batang Pier ended their conference with a 3-8 (win-loss) card while also giving Johnedel Cardel the reins to call the shots.
“I will never forget this,” Cardel, a five-year PBA veteran with three teams in the 1990s who is listed as the team’s assistant manager, told reporters. “I am very thankful that they gave me this chance.”
Cardel, though, said that he is unaware of any coaching changes with the Batang Pier, whom Pido Jarencio piloted to their first Final Four appearance in this season’s Philippine Cup before having the misfortune of having Romeo and Stanley Pringle injured for majority of this conference.
The reason for the switch in coaches, according to Cardel, was that Jarencio – who lost father Ben less than two weeks ago – had the gout and couldn’t attend practice.
Assistant coach Eric Gonzales, also according to Cardel, needed to concentrate on the D-League Finals where Phoenix leads Café France, 2-1, in the best-of-five series.
Jarencio and Gonzales were both seated on the bench for the game.
RR Garcia paced the Fuel Masters with 21 points and the Phoenix cause wasn’t helped a bit by the inability of import Kevin Pinkney to even come close to the numbers of Taggart.
Pinkney had just 11 points, seven rebounds and four fouls in a 27-minute stint.
Paolo Taha was the third man in twin digits for the Batang Pier, who will have a three-week break before returning to prepare for the season-ending Governors’ Cup where they will have an import not standing more than 6-foot-5.
Phoenix was able to keep the game close after coach Koy Banal got a total of six locals tossing in 10 points or more, with the veteran Mick Pennisi shooting 17 built around five triples and Mac Baracael contributing 14.
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