MANILA, Philippines - The Barako Bull Energy Cola recovered from a shaky third quarter to upset and nip the Alaska Aces, 97-93, Sunday, November 24 at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Ronjay Buenafe was a force to be reckoned with as he delivered the dagger basket against the defense of Gabby Espinas to shove Barako ahead, 95-93, with 33 seconds left. Buenafe nailed three triples in the fourth tallying a total of 27 points.
Jayvee Casio and Cyrus Baguio combined for 32 points and buried crucial treys in the third period. Baguio delivered the go-ahead basket from deep early in the second half to give the Aces the lead again, 50-48.
Barako Bull clawed out of a 15-point hole to start the payoff period courtesy of two straight triples by Buenafe. Mick Pennisi joined the three-point shooting party by dropping two consecutive long bombs, inching to within two, 78-80. But Sonny Thoss stopped the bleeding with a jumper for an 82-78 lead.
The hot hands of Buenafe struck again as he scored another triple to give Barako the lead, 91-89, with 2:15 left.
Willie Miller made good on a fadeaway jumper to for Barako to savor a 93-91 advantage with 48 seconds left.
Two attempts from the left corner by Aldrech Ramos did not go in as Alaska dropped to 1-2.