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.
Meralco disposed of sister team NLEX and SMB survived Alaska sans an import two days ago in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup. Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon): MERALCO BOLTS over NLEX ROAD WARRIORS, 101-95 The Meralco Bolts got a solid outing from import Allen Durham and a surprising boost from point guard Baser Amer late in the game as they hurdled sister team NLEX, 101-95, in the 2016 Oppo PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. Durham finished with 31 poin... [read more]
Meralco disposed of sister team NLEX and SMB survived Alaska sans an import two days ago in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup.
Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon):
MERALCO BOLTS over NLEX ROAD WARRIORS, 101-95 The Meralco Bolts got a solid outing from import Allen Durham and a surprising boost from point guard Baser Amer late in the game as they hurdled sister team NLEX, 101-95, in the 2016 Oppo PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Durham finished with 31 points, 17 rebounds and five assists in another productive performance for Meralco, which improved to 5-3 for the conference after a second straight win.
Cliff Hodge added 17 points while four other Bolts - Jared Dillinger, Kelly Nabong, Chris Newsome and Bryan Faundo - all finished in double figures as well.
Amer, meanwhile, tallied seven points and seven assists. He started out 0-for-6 from the field before scoring seven straight points in the last minute and a half to help secure the win for the Bolts.
NLEX (3-4) was led by high-scoring import Henry Walker, who finished with 38 points and nine boards in a losing effort.
Lines of the Game: Allen Durham (MER) - 31pts, 17rebs, 5asts, 2 triples, 10/17 FGs. Henry Walker (NLX) - 38pts, 9rebs, 5asts, 2blks, 1stl, 8 triples, 14/26 FGs.
SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN over ALASKA ACES, 106-103 The San Miguel Beermen, playing without an import, leaned on two-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo to overcome the Alaska Aces, 106-103, and pick up a crucial win in the 2016 Oppo PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Fajardo scored 37 points - including 16 in a dominant fourth quarter - and grabbed 14 rebounds to pace San Miguel, which played without injured import Arizona Reid.
Alex Cabagnot added 17 points and made two big three-pointers in the endgame while Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
San Miguel moved up to 5-2 while the struggling Aces dropped down to 2-5.
Alaska import LaDontae Henton had a huge game with 45 points and 15 rebounds but could not make a winning shot in the end.
Lines of the Game: June Mar Fajardo (SMB) - 37pts, 14rebs, 3asts, 3blks, 1stl, 12/17 FGs. LaDontae Henton (ALA) - 45pts, 15rebs, 1stl, 1ast, 2 triples, 19/39 FGs.
Sanen Neophoenix (B League) strengthened their roster with addition of 31-year old American forward Robert Dozier (206-102kg-85, college: Memphis). He played most recently at Alaska Aces in Filipino PBA league. Dozier managed to play in three leagues in two countries last year. In 15 PBA games he recorded very impressive stats: 19.9ppg, 11.3rpg, 2.1apg and 1.9bpg. He also played that season for Le Mans in ProA where in 10 games he averaged 11.5ppg, 8.2rpg, 1.3spg and 1.3bpg. Dozier also p... [read more]
Sanen Neophoenix (B League) strengthened their roster with addition of 31-year old American forward Robert Dozier (206-102kg-85, college: Memphis). He played most recently at Alaska Aces in Filipino PBA league. Dozier managed to play in three leagues in two countries last year. In 15 PBA games he recorded very impressive stats: 19.9ppg, 11.3rpg, 2.1apg and 1.9bpg. He also played that season for Le Mans in ProA where in 10 games he averaged 11.5ppg, 8.2rpg, 1.3spg and 1.3bpg. Dozier also played 7 games in Eurocup where he had 8.9ppg, 5.1rpg and 1.0spg. He also spent pre-season at PAOK Thessaloniki (A1) in Greek league that year. In 2009 Dozier was drafted by Miami Heat (NBA) in second round (60th overall). He attended University of Memphis and it will be his eighth season in pro basketball. Dozier received Asia-Basket.com All-PBA Commissioner's Cup 2nd Team award in 2016. He is quite experienced player. Thanks to Dozier's pro career he managed to play on three different continents (Europe, Asia and of course North America) in four different countries. Dozier has played previously professionally in Spain (Sevilla), France (Cholet Basket), Greece (Kolossos) and United Arab Emirates (Al Shabab). The scouts decsribe him following way:
(by Adam Ganeles for NBADraft.net in 2009)
Has terrific hands and reads passing angles well, notching a theft a game for his collegiate career ... Lateral quickness is excellent. Has shown the ability to guard smaller defenders and pressure ball handlers.
Often overpowered at the defensive end but made up for it with movement and quick leaping ability ... Finishes adequately at the offensive end, but must add strength.
Phelps number one in Philippines for round 6 - 5 days ago
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American Forward Eugene Phelps (198-F-90) had an amazing evening in the last round for Phoenix, receiving a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 6.
The 26-year old player had a double-double of 49 points and 18 rebounds, while his team Phoenix maintains the 8th position in Filipino PBA. Phoenix is rather a weak team placed in lower part in the standings. But it was their 4th lost game this season out of 6 games. In the team's last game Phelps had a remarkable 65.4% from 2-p... [read more]
American Forward Eugene Phelps (198-F-90) had an amazing evening in the last round for Phoenix, receiving a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 6. The 26-year old player had a double-double of 49 points and 18 rebounds, while his team Phoenix maintains the 8th position in Filipino PBA. Phoenix is rather a weak team placed in lower part in the standings. But it was their 4th lost game this season out of 6 games. In the team's last game Phelps had a remarkable 65.4% from 2-point range. He turned to be Phoenix's top player in his first season with the team. Eugene Phelps averages just after two games 37.5ppg, 18.5rpg and 4.5apg.
The second best player in last round's games was 28-year old American Justin Brownlee (197-F-88) of league's second-best Barangay Ginebra. Brownlee had a very good evening with a double-double of 31 points and 13 rebounds. Of course he led Barangay Ginebra to another comfortable win 101-87 over the lower-ranked Rain or Shine (#7, 3-3) being unquestionably team leader. This victory allowed Barangay Ginebra to move up to second position in the standings. His team's 5-2 record is not bad at all. Brownlee is a newcomer at Barangay Ginebra, but is already one of team's top players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 29.2ppg (#5). His other stats are also decent: 12.4rpg and 4.8apg. Former St.John's University star Brownlee is a former Eurobasket Summer League player, which is considered top international summer league in the market.
Third on the list of top players last round was American forward Allen Durham (198-F/C-88) of Meralco Bolts (#5). Durham got into 30-points club by scoring exactly 30 points in the last round. He went also for sixteen rebounds and seven assists. He was a key player of Meralco Bolts, leading his team to a 105-90 easy win against the lower-ranked Blackwater (#12, 1-6). Meralco Bolts needs these victories very badly if they think about getting closer to top teams. Their record at this point is 4 victories and 3 lost games. Durham has a great season in Philippines. After only 6 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 31.0ppg (3rd best), rebounds with 14.8rpg (4th best) and assists with 5.8apg (4th best). He also has 1.8bpg and FGP: 57.8%. Durham attended one of camps at Eurobasket Summer League on his way to pro basketball.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Arizona Reid (196-F-86) of San Miguel Beermen - 41 points and 15 rebounds 5. Henry Walker (198-G/F-87) of NLEX RW - 39 points and 13 rebounds 6. James White (203-F-93) of Mahindra E. - 23 points, 19 rebounds and 3 assists 7. Joel Wright (201-F-90) of Purefoods Star - 30 points and 22 rebounds 8. Mychal Ammons (198-F-92) of Talk N Text - 22 points, 18 rebounds and 3 assists 9. Arthur Dela Cruz) of Blackwater - 23 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists 10. LaDontae Henton (198-F-92) of Alaska Aces - 27 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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