A few days after they got robbed right inside the Mall of Asia Arena, the Meralco Bolts rebounded by finishing strong and beating the Air21 Express. Sol Mercado and Mac Cardona combined for 42 points to lead the Bolts, now at 3 wins and 2 losses, while Reynel Hugnatan and Jay-R Reyes paired up for 17 points and 24 rebounds down low.
Meralco employed great defense here, limiting all but one Express player to single digits (John Wilson netted 16 points), while also forcing 19 Air21 turnovers. Meralco coach Ryan Gregorios wards shot a blistering 41% from beyond the arc, highlighted by a combined 10 treys from Mercado, Cardona, and Ronjay Buenafe.
In the second game, the Boosters relied on steady execution in the second half to turn back the tough-fighting Ginebra Kings. Alex Cabagnot came through this time around, seemingly responding to the call-out made by teammate Arwind Santos after their previous loss, scoring 25 points while dishing out 9 assists. For his part, Santos recorded a monster double-double, scoring 22 markers, collaring 17 rebounds, and blocking 2 shots. Former Gilas standout Chris Lutz, who engaged Ginebra ace Mark Caguioa in a word war throughout the match, also did well, putting up 18 points. Former Green Archer Joseph Yeo, meanwhile, hit 4 triples on his way to finishing with 16 markers.
Caguioa led the Kings with 23 points, but he shot just 9-of-25 from the field. LA Tenorio also had a good game, bouncing back from his subpar performance last Friday by recording 15 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds. It was all for naught, however, as Ginebra fell for the third time in a row after winning its first two assignments.
Game Recaps: MERALCO BOLTS over AIR21 EXPRESS, 85-72
Meralco notched a win that somehow eased the pain on its horrific experience from its previous trip at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Bolts vented their ire on the Air 21 Express for an 85-72 win in the 2013 PBA Philippine Cup, coming out winners this time at the state-of-the-art venue in Pasay City.
We defended well today. We defended our things well and the numbers put up by Air 21 are not so significant, said Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio, who was among Bolts member victimized by thieves who ransacked their locker room last Wednesday, during halftime of their 105-104 loss to GlobalPort.
After that harrowing experience, we were able to bounce back strong, came out with better focus, competed and played good basketball.
Gregorio blamed himself on their one-point loss to Batang Pier but his players came out with better focus and determination for 48 minutes to claim their third win in five matches.
With Meralco management deploying its own security personnel for the locker room, the Bolts were able to concentrate on the battle on the court.
Solomon Mercado finished with a game-high 24 points spiked by five three-pointers, while Mark Cardona and Ronjay Buenafe contributed 18 and 13 points, respectively, for the Bolts
Reynel Hugnatan also came up huge for Meralco with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
John Wilson was the lone Air 21 player in double figures with 16 points. The Express win-loss record dropped to 1-4.
Air 21 was in the thick of things early in the fourth quarter, trailing 63-59, before Hugnatan and Cardona joined forces for a decisive 16-3 burst to pull away from a tight contest with 5:13 left in the game.
Were lacking consistency right now. We can compete in certain level but we cant execute down the stretch, said Express coach Franz Pumaren. I guess the players are still feeling each other.
PETRON BLAZE BOOSTERS over BGY. GINEBRA KINGS, 98-95
Arwind Santos scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, while Alex Cabagnot added 25 points as Petron snapped its two-game Philippine Cup losing streak with a 98-95 victory over Ginebra Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The victory came just two days after Santos called out his teammates for lacking heart. In earlier comments to InterAKTV, he specifically mentioned Cabagnots play.
After the game, Santos stood by his statements.
Alam niya naman kung bakit ako nagsalita ng ganoon. Alam niya naman ang pagkatao ko, said Santos.
Sana yung pagkakabitaw ko ng salitang yun, sana magtuloy-tuloy pa. Sana maintindihan nila ako. Sabi ko kay Alex, Prove it to me.
Petron was up in the fourth quarter, 89-80, on a layup by Joseph Yeo, before Ginebra rattled off an 11-2 run to come within two points. A putback by Willie Wilson a couple of plays later tied the game at 95-all.
Petron regained the lead on a layup by Joseph Yeo, before LA Tenorio threw the ball away in the ensuing possession with less than 10 seconds to go. Ginebra sent Cabagnot to the line, and the Boosters point guard split his free throws.
Mark Caguioa had one last shot to tie the game for Ginebra, but his three-point attempt hit the back of the iron, allowing Santos to collar the rebound to seal the win.
Cabagnot added eight assists, while Chris Lutz had 18 points. Yeo chipped in 16 points, including four three-pointers.
I think Petron plays better with an injured lineup, said Boosters coach Olsen Racela, who lost veteran Danny Ildefonso during the game due to a dislocated left shoulder. The team is already without top pick June Mar Fajardo, who underwent an operation for his swollen scrotum.
It really shows the character of the team. Everyone is helping out, added Racela.
It was Ginebras third consecutive loss after winning its first two Philippine Cup assignments. Petron moved into a tie with the Gin Kings in the standings with similar 2-3 win-loss records.
Fredette breaks Mighty Sports-PH's hearts in Merlion Cup final - 1 day ago
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Former NBA player Fredette Jimmer (188-PG-89, college: BYU) broke the hearts of Mighty Sports-Philippines in the Merlion Cup as he engineered a 78-77 victory for the Shanghai Sharks in the gold medal game of the tournament Sunday night at the OCBC Arena in Singapore. Fredette torched Mighty Sports-Philippines with 43 points, and hit three free throws with no time left to lift the Sharks to a come-from-behind victory. Mighty Sports, led by Al Thornton (203-F-83, college: Florida St.) and K... [read more]
Former NBA player Fredette Jimmer (188-PG-89, college: BYU) broke the hearts of Mighty Sports-Philippines in the Merlion Cup as he engineered a 78-77 victory for the Shanghai Sharks in the gold medal game of the tournament Sunday night at the OCBC Arena in Singapore. Fredette torched Mighty Sports-Philippines with 43 points, and hit three free throws with no time left to lift the Sharks to a come-from-behind victory. Mighty Sports, led by Al Thornton (203-F-83, college: Florida St.) and Kiefer Isaac Ravena (181-G/F-93), led by as much as 14 points, 69-55, in the fourth quarter before Fredette anchored Shanghai's comeback. Fredette sparked an 18-4 run, and assisted on the three-pointer that tied the game at 73 with still 3:52 left to play. Ravena handed Mighty Sports back the lead when he drained a three-pointer with 3:31 left while also drawing a foul from Fredette. He completed the four-point play to make it 77-73. Fredette cut the lead to two points with a lay-up in transition with 1:21 to go, and Ravena badly misfired on a triple that could have iced the game with still 40 seconds left. Needing to make one stop to seal the championship, Mighty Sports instead fouled Fredette as he was launching a three-pointer at the buzzer. The former Sacramento King coolly made all free throws to secure the victory. "We just wanted to get a good shot off, we wanted to get the last shot," said Fredette after the game. "My teammates did a great job of fighting hard tonight." "I had three (shots) to make two, that's the way I thought about it," he added. "Two puts us in overtime. My mentality was to go in there and that I had to make two." Thornton finished the game with 36 points for Mighty Sports. Courtesy of: abs-cbn.com
PH-Mighty Sports through to Merlion Cup finals after escaping Singapore Slingers - 2 days ago
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Philippines-Mighty Sports pulled off a tough 72-70 semifinal victory over hometown team Singapore Slingers to advance to the Merlion Cup finals on Saturday at the OCBC Arena in the city-state. Dewarick Spencer (193-G-82, college: Arkansas St., agency: Higher Vision Sports) fired 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter to pump life into Mighty Sports which, after a strong start, trailed by nine points in the third quarter. Filipino guards Kiefer Isaac Ravena (181-G/F-93) and Joseph Yeo (1... [read more]
Philippines-Mighty Sports pulled off a tough 72-70 semifinal victory over hometown team Singapore Slingers to advance to the Merlion Cup finals on Saturday at the OCBC Arena in the city-state. Dewarick Spencer (193-G-82, college: Arkansas St., agency: Higher Vision Sports) fired 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter to pump life into Mighty Sports which, after a strong start, trailed by nine points in the third quarter. Filipino guards Kiefer Isaac Ravena (181-G/F-93) and Joseph Yeo (183-G-83) also combined for five crucial points down the stretch that gave the Philippine club the lead for good. PH-Mighty Sports will take on the Shanghai Sharks led by former NBA player Fredette Jimmer (188-PG-89, college: BYU) for the title on Sunday in a matchup between the tournament's two unbeaten teams. PH-Mighty Sports started the game on a hot 7-0 run powered by slam dunks from Hamady N'diaye (212-C-87, college: Rutgers).. They finished the first quarter with a 21-15 lead. But the Slingers put the clamps on PH-Mighty Sports, limiting the Filipino club to just 12 points in the second quarter. The Slingers took a 36-33 at the break which they expanded to nine points, 44-35, in the early goings of the third frame. But just as the Slingers were about to pull away, Spencer woke PH-Mighty Sports up. He suddenly waxed hot on the floor, burying three triples and converting tough baskets to score 17 of the team's first 18 points in the third quarter. Yeo then scored a layup to complete the turnaround for PH-Mighty Sports which took a 53-46 lead. But the Slingers made their way back and trimmed their deficit to just two, 56-54, heading into the last quarter. It was a nip-and-tuck affair in the fourth period, with the teams exchanging leads. Big man Justin Howard gave the Slingers a 68-67 lead with just a minute left after shooting a surprise three-pointer off an awkward release. But Ravena countered it with a reverse layup. After a miss by the Slingers, Yeo then pulled up for a triple to push PH-Mighty Sports' lead to four, 72-68, with 36 seconds left. But the Slingers converted two free throws in the next play. Spencer then made a huge blunder in the inbound for a huge turnover that gave the Slingers a chance to take the last shot with just nine ticks left. However, the Slingers' Filipino import Jeff Viernes was called for steps in his drive to the basket, allowing PH-Mighty Sports to escape with the victory. Courtesy of: interaksyon.com
Quarterfinal action from the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup tonight saw sister Meralco and TNT gain separate tickets to the semifinals. Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon): MERALCO BOLTS over MAHINDRA ENFORCER, 105-82 The Meralco Bolts continued their mastery of the Mahindra Enforcer, trouncing the playoff first-timers for the second time in three days, 105-82, to clinch a semifinals berth in the PBA Governors' Cup Saturday at Ynares Center in Antipolo. Import Allen Durham tallied 24 po... [read more]
Quarterfinal action from the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup tonight saw sister Meralco and TNT gain separate tickets to the semifinals.
Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon):
MERALCO BOLTS over MAHINDRA ENFORCER, 105-82 The Meralco Bolts continued their mastery of the Mahindra Enforcer, trouncing the playoff first-timers for the second time in three days, 105-82, to clinch a semifinals berth in the PBA Governors' Cup Saturday at Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Import Allen Durham tallied 24 points and 16 rebounds while Chris Newsome added 19 markers to lead the Bolts who rallied from a 15-point deficit to pull off the blowout.
Cliff Hodge scored 14 points and Jared Dillinger 12 markers to help Meralco which just last Wednesday also rallied past Mahindra to seize the twice-to-beat in their playoff for the No.4 spot.
The win was Meralco's third straight over Mahindra which missed out on clinching an outright twice-to-beat after falling to the Bolts in their elimination round duel last September 11.
In the semifinals, Meralco will face the winner of the TNT KaTropa-Phoenix Fuel Master quarterfinal matchup.
James White finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Enforcer who, thanks to a 4-0 start, were able to appear in their first quarterfinals appearance in franchise history.
Lines of the Game: Allen Durham (MER) - 24pts, 16rebs, 6asts, 1blk, 3 triples, 7/14 FGs. James White (MAH) - 20pts, 10rebs, 1ast, 1stl, 1blk.
TNT KA TROPA over PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS, 136-124 Superstar guard Jayson Castro exploded for 42 points as he carried TNT KaTropa to the semifinals with a 136-124 win over the gutsy Phoenix Fuel Masters in the PBA Governors' Cup playoffs Saturday at Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Castro converted 14 out of 26 shots, made five out of 11 triples and sank nine out of 12 free throws. He also grabbed four rebounds and three assists-all in just 27 minutes of play.
The result booked TNT a semifinals date with sister team Meralco Bolts and completed the final four cast that will also see San Miguel and Ginebra battling in the other side of the bracket.
Castro was simply unstoppable on the floor, finishing daredevil drives to the basket and pulling up for jumpers when defenders fell asleep. He already had 29 points after the first two quarters.
Michael Madanly also had 17 points, while Ranidel De Ocampo and Ryan Reyes chipped in 16 apiece. Larry Fonacier had 13 and Kelly Williams contributed 12.
Eugene Phelps finished the game with 39 points and 17 boards for Phoenix.
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