Canaleta drops career-high 41 to carry Air 21 past GlobalPort
KG Canaleta posted a career-high 41 points along with seven boards and four assists with a 6-of-9 shooting clip from beyond the arc to help the Air 21 Express cruise past the troubled GlobalPort Batang Pier squad, 113-92, on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
"I think everybody felt frustrated in our game against Ginebra; everybody was determined to bounce back," said Air 21 head coach Franz Pumaren. "I told KG I want him to prove himself that he's worthy to be one of the top players in the PBA. He's really talented; I told him I want him to be the most improved player."
The Express found many easy looks in the paint to start the game, thanks to good pick and roll action for a 14-11 lead, but GlobalPort rode an aggressive Rabeh Al-Husseini, who scored seven points in a 12-5 run to edge forward, 23-19, with under five minutes to play.
Air 21 began to cool off as the quarter closed, as they gave up free throws and allowed GlobalPort to nail buckets courtesy of Rey Guevara and AJ Mandani, but a desperation heave by Wynne Arboleda found its mark as the quarter ended, cutting the Express' deficit to one, 31-30.
Canaleta and the Express' leaned on their bench for inspired play in the second quarter. The second unit got out in transition, as the former UE Red Warrior buried two treys en route to 10 points in a 20-6 rampage. By the time GlobalPort's starters returned at the 6:06 mark, they faced a 13-point deficit, 50-37.