Millsap, Fajardo ignite Petron's win over RoS
|Petron's JunMar Fajardo (C) is smothered by Rain or Shine defenders in Game 1 of their PBA Governors' Cup semi-finals series Monday at the Araneta Coliseum. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com.|
MANILA, Philippines - Petron Blaze banked heavily on the exploits of Elijah Millsap and Junmar Fajardo as it set a 24-year franchise best of 10 straight wins in trouncing titleholder Rain or Shine, 91-83, in Game One of their PBA Governors Cup Final Four showdown at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Monday night.
Exploiting to the hilt their matchup advantages, Millsap came through with a personal conference best of 41 points while Fajardo logged a career high of 17 rebounds that went with 15 points, powering the Boosters to a triumphant start in the best-of-five semifinals.
Keeping their amazing unbeaten run from the elimination round, the Boosters already matched the 10-game run the ball club set during the course of their grand slam season in 1989.
The team then included four-time MVP winner Ramon Fernandez, another future MVP Ato Agustin and future Hall of Famers Hector Calma and Samboy Lim.
Millsap and company try to break the record and make it two-zero in the semis series in Game Two Wednesday over at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
“We definitely did something good in this game. Maybe, we’re just doing minor adjustments here and there in the next game,” said Petron coach Gie Abanilla.
“We can’t afford to lose the edge. We have to make good use of the 1-0 series lead,” Abanilla added.
The Boosters exploited their matchup advantage in Game One with Alex Cabagnot creating plays, Fajardo imposing his huge presence at the paint and Millsap punishing the E-Painters practically from all over the floor.
Millsap went 3-of-5 from the three-point area, 11-of-23 from the two-point zone and 10-of-16 from the stripe to improve his previous best of 35.
Fajardo, meanwhile, wreaked havoc at the paint, collecting nine defensive rebounds and eight offensive caroms – three better than his previous mark.
Cabagnot was also a big help, putting in 18 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Cabagnot rifled in a trey then Fajardo collared a big rebound and went to the stripe for two charities as Petron put the game away at 89-83 inside the final minute.