21 October 2010

Bolts 71, B-Meg 75

Bolts vs BMeg
The B-MEG Derby Ace Llamados simply refused to be beaten ranged against their former coach and his new team Wednesday night (20 October 2010).

Playing with great resolve, the Llamados broke into the win-column in the 2010-11 PBA Philippine Cup with a 75-71 decision over the Meralco Bolts B-Boys at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Sophomore center/forward Rico Maierhofer best typified the will and determination shown by the Llamados, coming through with career highs of 14 rebounds and five blocks that went with nine points and one steal in 26 minutes of action.

James Yap and Jerwin Gaco put in double-digit markers with Jondan Salvador, Romel Adducul, PJ Simon, Jonas Villanueva and Roger Yap having significant contributions as the Llamados handed new coach Jorge Gallent his first win in the pros.

The Llamados, the reigning champions considered just as middle-of-the-pack team minus three injury-stricken key players, caught up with the B-Boys at 1-3.

"We didn't talk about coach Ryan Gregorio before the game but I'm sure the boys were excited to play against their former coach," said Gallent.

"Good effort in rebounding helped us a lot in this game. We lost the battle off the boards in our first three games. Jondan, Romel, Gaco and Maierhofer did their job. But I guess they have to step up even more," Gallent also said.

The Llamados surprisingly outrebounded the taller B-Boys, 56-47, and executed their plays better as they nailed their first win in the tourney following losses to the Talk n Text Tropang Texters, the Alaska Milk Aces and the Air21 Express.

Meralco suffered a third straight defeat after nipping Barangay Ginebra, 73-72, in the season opener.

Salvador, enjoying long minutes in the absence of Kerby Raymundo, Marc Pingris and Rafi Reavis, grabbed 10 rebounds with the biggest being the offensive carom he got with the team holding a precarious lead, 74-71, with seven ticks left to play.

Desperately fouled by Macmac Cardona, Salvador sank one charity for the final count.

Cardona, the league's scoring champion two seasons ago, led all scorers with 24 points on 7-of-24 field-goal shooting and 8-of-10 free throws.

He had a crucial miss and an error parlayed by Derby Ace to four points for a 74-67 lead with 1:45 left to play.

Meralco, however, refused roll over and die right there.

Obviously, Meralco was aching to beat Derby Ace specially with sister team Talk n Text upset by Rain or Shine earlier in the day. (SB)

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