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.
Allen Durham (ex Meralco Bolts) joins Malvin - 2 hours ago
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Malvin Montevideo (LUB) agreed terms with 29-year old American power forward Allen Durham (198-108kg-88, college: Grace Bible). He played last summer at Meralco Bolts in Filipino PBA league. Durham managed to play in three leagues in three countries last year. In 23 PBA games he was third best scorer with impressive 29.2ppg and averaged 15.3rpg (leader !!!), 5.0apg (top 2), 1.0spg and 1.3bpg. He ended the last season at Hermine Nantes Atlantique in French ProB where in 20 games he was sec... [read more]
Malvin Montevideo (LUB) agreed terms with 29-year old American power forward Allen Durham (198-108kg-88, college: Grace Bible). He played last summer at Meralco Bolts in Filipino PBA league. Durham managed to play in three leagues in three countries last year. In 23 PBA games he was third best scorer with impressive 29.2ppg and averaged 15.3rpg (leader !!!), 5.0apg (top 2), 1.0spg and 1.3bpg. He ended the last season at Hermine Nantes Atlantique in French ProB where in 20 games he was second best scorer with remarkable 18.6ppg and had 9.8rpg (#4 in the league), 2.7apg and 1.2spg. Quite impressive season as he was selected Eurobasket.com All-French ProB Forward of the Year and named to 2nd Team. But the most of that year Durham spent at another team Texas Legends in U.S. semi-pro league D-League. In 24 games he recorded 8.8ppg, 7.4rpg and 1.0apg. He helped them to make it to the cup final. It was another spectacular season as he was selected Asia-Basket.com All-PBA Governor's Cup Player of the Year, Import Player of the Year and Forward of the Year. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Durham played in the final of Eurobasket Summer League in Las Vegas in 2011. He was also voted NCCAA Midwest Regional Player of the Year back in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Durham is quite experienced player. His career allowed him to visit three different continents, while he played in four different countries. Durham tasted the life as pro basketball player in Europe, Asia and of course North America. He has played previously professionally also in Finland (Salon Vilpas), Israel (Hapoel Afula) and Romania (CS Dinamo Bucuresti).
The 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup Finals kicked off with a purr as the San Miguel Beermen completely dominated the Ginebra Gin Kings in Game 1! Game Capsules: SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN over BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS, 109-82 The San Miguel Beermen overwhelmed Barangay Ginebra early before cruising to the comfortable finish as they downed the Kings, 109-82, in a lopsided Game 1 of the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena. Reigning PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo and Chris Ro... [read more]
The 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup Finals kicked off with a purr as the San Miguel Beermen completely dominated the Ginebra Gin Kings in Game 1!
SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN over BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS, 109-82 The San Miguel Beermen overwhelmed Barangay Ginebra early before cruising to the comfortable finish as they downed the Kings, 109-82, in a lopsided Game 1 of the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Reigning PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo and Chris Ross each finished with 17 points to lead San Miguel.
"The Kraken" shot 7-for-8 from the field and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds despite playing in less than 23 minutes of the blowout contest while Ross posted five rebounds and dished out eight assists in a similarly impressive showing.
Alex Cabagnot hit three three-pointer en route to 16 points while Gabby Espinas also finished with 16 markers, though all of his came in the second half.
San Miguel opened the game on a 17-2 run and never really looked back in a game they led by as many as 36 points.
The Beermen, who are seeking a third consecutive Philippine Cup title, now lead the best-of-seven series, 1-0. (Interaksyon.com)
LINES OF THE GAME: Chris Ross (SMB) - 17pts, 5rebs, 8asts, 1blk, 1 triple. Chris Ellis (GIN) - 13pts, 3rebs, 2asts, 2stls, 1blk, 1 triple.
The 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals was quite memorable, and here we are to give you an ICYMI recap of all the exciting action! Game Capsules: SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN over TNT KA TROPA, 4-3 Scores: GAME 1 - SMB 111, TNT 98 GAME 2 - TNT 87, SMB 85 GAME 3 - TNT 98, SMB 92 GAME 4 - SMB 97, TNT 86 GAME 5 - TNT 101, SMB 94 GAME 6 - SMB 104, TNT 88 GAME 7 - SMB 96, TNT 83 The Beermen were tested here. They were down 2-3 in the series and looked pretty much on the ropes until a co... [read more]
The 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals was quite memorable, and here we are to give you an ICYMI recap of all the exciting action!
SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN over TNT KA TROPA, 4-3 Scores: GAME 1 - SMB 111, TNT 98 GAME 2 - TNT 87, SMB 85 GAME 3 - TNT 98, SMB 92 GAME 4 - SMB 97, TNT 86 GAME 5 - TNT 101, SMB 94 GAME 6 - SMB 104, TNT 88 GAME 7 - SMB 96, TNT 83
The Beermen were tested here. They were down 2-3 in the series and looked pretty much on the ropes until a couple of lucky twists of fate nudged them into Game 7 and an eventual series win. Troy Rosario's absence was key in Game 6, and Jayson Castro's injury prevented him from playing in Game 7. It was a fortunate turn for SMB, and an unlucky tumble for TNT. This was a tough series that seems to have sharpened the Beermen for the Finals, where they are currently up, 1-0.
BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS over STAR HOTSHOTS, 4-3 Scores: GAME 1 - STA 78, GIN 74 GAME 2 - STA 91, GIN 89 GAME 3 - GIN 73, STA 62 GAME 4 - GIN 93, STA 86 GAME 5 - STA 89, GIN 80 GAME 6 - GIN 91, STA 67 GAME 7 - GIN 89, STA 76
Much like the SMB-TNT series, the Gin Kings were on the verge of getting the boot thanks to a Star quintet that really played beyond their perceived capabilities. The Kings, however, lived up to their being #NSD, roaring back from a 2-0 hole to win 4 of the series's last 5 games. One would think that experience should have toughened them up for the Finals, but if Game 1 was any indication, the Kings will need to dig a lot deeper than they did against the Hotshots.
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