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.
Blatche Andray 211-F/C-86 Xinjiang FT Jayson Castro William 180-PG-86 Talk N Text Gabe Norwood 196-G/F-85 Rain or Shine June Mar Fajardo 210-C-89 San Miguel Beermen Japeth Aguilar 206-C-85 Barangay Ginebra Ranidel deOcampo 197-F-81 Talk N Text Terrence Bill Romeo 180-PG-92&... [read more]
TURKEY over PHILIPPINES, 103-68 Turkey got the more than easy 103-68 win over Philippines in their preparation game in Istanbul. The two teams may face each other in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Manila, Philippines, as they start their games in different groups and if this game can be considered a sample, Turkey is at least in much better condition. Center Semih Erden and forward Baris Hersek with 16 points each were the top scorers of the winners. Furkan Korkmaz who is expe... [read more]
TURKEY over PHILIPPINES, 103-68 Turkey got the more than easy 103-68 win over Philippines in their preparation game in Istanbul.
The two teams may face each other in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Manila, Philippines, as they start their games in different groups and if this game can be considered a sample, Turkey is at least in much better condition.
Center Semih Erden and forward Baris Hersek with 16 points each were the top scorers of the winners. Furkan Korkmaz who is expected to hear his name in the first round of the upcoming NBA draft, returned to Turkey and scored 5 points. Andray Blatche had 23 points for the losing side and Jayson Williams added 15 points.
ITALY over PHILIPPINES, 106-70 Italy got an easy win over Philippines in the first day of the preparation tournament in Bologna. The final score was 106-70 for the hosts and it was flattering for the guests who were trailing 62-15 before the half time.
The first 20 minutes of action ended with a 41 points advantage for Italy (64-23) which got 20 points by Danilo Gallinari in 15 minutes of action, 14 points by Pietro Aradori who came from the bench and 11 by Marco Bellineli.
Philippines was outplayed in every possible way and Andray Blatche with 21 points was as usual the only brightspot for them.
With the two conferences of the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) done with the San Miguel Beermen overcoming the odds from a 3-0 deficit in the finals to win the Philippine Cup title in seven games against the Alaska Aces and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters ruling the Commissioner's Cup against the same Aces, another conference is shaping to be one of the most competitive tournaments in recent memory. Returning imports showcases the upcoming Governor's Cup which will have its... [read more]
With the two conferences of the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) done with the San Miguel Beermen overcoming the odds from a 3-0 deficit in the finals to win the Philippine Cup title in seven games against the Alaska Aces and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters ruling the Commissioner's Cup against the same Aces, another conference is shaping to be one of the most competitive tournaments in recent memory.
Returning imports showcases the upcoming Governor's Cup which will have its tip-off on July 15.
Asian imports will also be featured in this conference led by the returning Michel Madanly (194-G-81) for the Texters. Phoenix had tapped the services of 6-foot-3 Korean Lee Kwan Hee to bolster its guard-forward rotation.
Here are the complete lineup of reinforcements for all contending teams:
Aris Ignacio is from the Philippines and has always been a big fan of Philippine basketball. Aris' follows the Philippine Basketball Association since the late 80's and has learned the history and personalities of the PBA. He also has interest with other basketball tournaments in the Philippines and beyond most specifically college basketball (UAAP, NCAA), the Asian Basketball League (ABL), FIBA Asia and World Cup tournaments. Follow Aris Ignacio on Twitter at aris_ignacio.
Copyright (c) 1998-2016 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.