Petron earns finals date with Talk 'N Text
But Petron had to wait for the result of the second match between sister-team Ginebra and Rain or Shine before being earning the chance of facing early finalist Talk 'N Text in a best-of-seven title series that starts on Sunday.
The Gin Kings defeated the Elasto Painters, 103-95, that formalized the Blaze Boosters' entry in the championship round.
Petron actually tied Alaska and Ginebra for the No. 2 spot with an 8-5 record but its win, coupled by the Gin Kings' triumph over Rain or Shine eliminated both teams from the Finals owing to a superior quotient.
"The boys showed they really wanted to win. We played fantastic defense, we moved the ball well on offense and we contained Talk 'N Text's transition game," said Petron coach Ato Agustin.
Petron played minus four key players against Talk 'N Text, but never found itself in trouble in the game it dominated from start to finish.
Import Anthony Grundy took over on offense for the Blaze Boosters with 35 points and 12 rebounds, while Arwind Santos was again a monster at both ends with 19 markers and 16 boards.
The Tropang Texters, aiming to become only the fourth team to nail a Grand Slam in the PBA's 36-year history, were led by Larry Fonacier's 16 points. Kelly Williams and Harvey Carey added 11 and 10 markers each.
The Boosters enjoyed their biggest lead at 82-56, even in the absence of rookie Rabeh Al-Hussaini (ACL), Joseph Yeo (foot injury), Lordy Tugafe (surgery right hand), and Jay Washington (foot injury). - JVP, GMA News
Petron 98 - Grundy 35, Santos 19, Ildefonso 10, Pennisi 10, Salvacion 8, Miranda 7, Cabagnot 5, Baclao 2, Guevarra 2, Duncil 0, Hubalde 0.
Talk 'N Text 83 - Fonacier 16, Williams 11, Carey 10, Reynolds 9, Yee 8, Alapag 7, Peek 7, Castro 5, Alvarez 4, Oreta 3, Dillinger 3, Reyes 0, Lao 0.
Quarter scores: 20-17, 47-34, 76-56, 98-83.