Fastbreak: Rookie Terrence Romeo and MVP Arwind Santos step up
The Best: I kinda knew Terrence Romeo would eventually be a great scorer in the pros, but I didn't know that "eventually" would mean that, just in his second game, the former King Tamaraw would torch the nets for 34 big ones. Romeo connected on 6 of his 9 three-point attempts on his way to his first 30+ game in the PBA. He was pretty much unconscious from all spots on the floor, as his teammates, Sol Mercado in particular, made it a point to find him in his sweet spots. Bro also added 6 rebounds, 3 dimes, and 1 steal to his impressive stat-line. (READ: Terrence Romeo is 'special,' says coach and veteran teammates)
The Worst: Despite Romeo's hot hand, the Express didn't really get blown out till the fourth period, but if there is one thing that coach Franz Pumaren should be really unhappy about, it's definitely his wards' free throw shooting. As a team, Air21 shot just 60% from the line, missing 15 of their 37 attempts. Asi Taulava shot 5/10 from the line, BonBon Custodio missed all four of his charities, while Vic Manuel struggled, too, going 2/5. Air21's atrocious performance all but canceled out the fact that they actually shot better from the field -- 47% compared to GlobalPort's 42%.
Young and Restless: With the influx of a lot of young talent, this new-look Batang Pier quintet seems poised to really make a splash this conference. Heck, even the veterans seem to be reinvigorated. In this game, Jay Washington and Sol Mercado both shone brightly, and modeled the kind of play that the team's young core should follow. J-Wash drilled in 19 markers and grabbed 12 rebounds, while the Sol Train pumped in 14 points and dished out 7 assists in a superb quarterbacking effort.
The Best: The MVP of the 2012-2013 season turned in a performance worthy of that accolade. Arwind Santos silenced his doubters (ahem) with a sublime 15-point, 15-rebound, 3-block line. Santos shot 7/14 from the field here, pretty much dominating a decimated TNT frontline, which missed the services of Gilas PF Ranidel De Ocampo. Santos also helped limit the other bigs of the Texters. Kelly Williams, Ali Peek, Sean Anthony, and Harvey Carey all combined to score just 13 markers.
The Worst: One of the main weapons of coach Norman Black's squad is the three-point shot, and when his snipers fire blanks, then, chances are, the Texters will be in for a very rough night. That's exactly what happened here, as TNT went 4/25 from beyond the arc. Jayson Castro and Jimmy Alapag had a combined 3/14 shooting effort from rainbow country, while Larry Fonacier missed all five of his trey attempts. Overall, TNT shot just 27% from the floor and 63% from the line. This compounded the fact they lost the battle of the boards, too, 49-58.
Balance & Depth: When most of Petron's guns are clicking, this is a very hard team to beat. Coach Gee Abanilla had five guys break into double-digit scoring, led by Santos. The other Boosters who scored 10 or more were Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz, June Mar Fajardo, and Doug Kramer. Aside from the fact all those guys were on-target, credit must also go to the underrated playmaking of Chris Ross and Paolo Hubalde, who filled in for the injured Alex Cabagnot. This game showcased, once again, why Petron is, hands down, one of the deepest and most balanced teams in the PBA. -Rappler.com