MANILA, Philippines – Powerade hit its stride and went on a decisive turnaround in the third period en route to a 103-96 win over B-MEG Derby Ace in a PBA Commissioner’s Cup road game at the Mindanao Sports and Civic Center in Tubod, Lanao del Norte Saturday night.
The Tigers made a 19-point swing in the third quarter and sustained the heat in the final canto as they sprang back from an 86-106 blowout by the Alaska Milk Aces Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Russel Carter had another explosive performance and his local teammates put in the needed help, enabling the ball club to snap a long nine-game losing streak dating back to the all-Filipino tourney.
Carter, a product of Notre Dame who had stints with the Solsonica Rieti, the Tulsa 66ers, the Sioux Falls Skyforce and the Austin Toros in the NBA D-League, showed up debuting Derby Ace import Samari Spears, collecting 36 points, 19 rebounds and six assists.
The energetic guard-forward himself helped the Tigers pick up their game in the third period, allowing the team to erase a five-point halftime deficit and erect a 14-point spread going to the payoff period.
Gary David and Chico Lanete were local Powerade players who logged double-digit numbers in the game, serving as the second leg of the Phoenix Fuel PBA on Tour series.
The Llamados waged their own rally in the fourth but self-destructed at the finish with crucial errors and missed free throws.
It didn’t help that Rico Maierhofer hyper-extended his left knee, causing him to sit down long minutes in the second half.
Derby Ace suffered a second straight defeat following a close 94-95 loss to Rain or Shine Wednesday.
The Llamados played then with Rob Brown as import. Brown scored more with 29 points compared to Spears’ 22 last night.
Groping for form, Spears had his first basket with already 19 minutes into the game.
Nevertheless, the Llamados took control in the first half through the efforts of the Derby Ace local crew led by James Yap, PJ Simon and Jonas Villanueva.
The Llamados enjoyed a double-digit spread at 47-36 as Spears started to connect his shots, nailing four straight field-goal baskets.
Carter went to work early for the Tigers, scattering 22 points in the first two quarters.
Gov. Mohammad Khalid Dimaporo took the center court at halftime, thanking “the PBA for giving Lanao del Norte a chance, time and again, to prove to the Philippines that the province is a land of peace, beauty and bounty.”
Meanwhile, three teams go for a second straight win at the resumption of action at the Cuneta Astrodome today.
Rain or Shine and Meralco Bolts mix it up at 4 p.m. then Alaska Milk and Barangay Ginebra square off at 6:30 p.m.
The Elasto Painters, the Aces and the Kings all look for a follow-up on their winning debuts while the B-Boys are out to bounce back from a loss in their initial outing.