11 October 2010

Bolts 68, Boosters 74

Bolts vs Boosters
Sunday Salvacion topscored for Barako Bull with his second straight 20-point game but it was Reed Juntilla who scored all his 11 points in the second half including the game's last six as the Energy Boosters held off Meralco, 74-68 Sunday (10 October 2010) night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

A former University if Visayas stalwart, Juntilla broke a 68-68 tie with a 15-foot jumpshot over Meralco rookie Shawn Weinstein with 37 seconds to play to put the Energizers ahead to stay and preserved a terrific effort by Salvacion, who brought Barako Bull back into the game.

"Hopefully, this will be a confidence builder for our less talented team," proclaimed Barako Bull coach Junel Baculi after the game. Baculi said they’ve learned their lesson after their 64-88 loss against Alaska in their debut game last Friday. He said their defense turned the complexion of the game around.

"We are the only team which can't outshoot any team in this league. But we certainly can outdefend them," Baculi said. "So I told the players to just play consistent defense and our offense will follow.

" The Energy Boosters did just exactly what their coach instructed them. And they were rewarded. Their efficient, tireless defense held the Bolts to a 3 for 21 shooting from the field in the fourth quarter that led to Meralco’s meltdown. Rob Wainwright scored 13 points and made three of five attempts from the 3-point range.

Beside his offensive contribution, Wainwright also did well on the defensive side, holding Cardona scoreless in the fourth. Barako Bull trailed by nine at halftime and 53-58 at the end of the third quarter. But Salvacion, who scored 16 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, caught fire in the fourth, opening the quarter with three consecutive threes that sparked a 15-2 run for 68-71 Barako lead.

The Energy Boosters went 7 for 22 from the field in the fourth, including 3 of 5 from behind the arc. Gabby Espinas, who had 11 points, gave Meralco a new lease on life when he scored on a follow up then made a free throw to tie the count at 68 with 45 seconds left. But the Bolts couldn’t keep up with Mark Cardona missing an easy layup with 21 second remaining. Cardona still wound up with a team-high 19 points but only on a 8-of-25 shooting. (DBC)

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