25 November 2010

Bolts 88, Powerade 85

Bolts vs Powerade
Chris Ross recorded his first career double-double and Mark Cardona scored 16 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter as Meralco weathered a fiery charge by Powerade down the wire, 88-85, Wednesday (24 November 2010) at the Araneta Coliseum.

The six-foot Ross made a notable performance in 41 minutes that is reflected in his stats line -- 12 rebounds 10 assists and 6 points – as the Bolts collected their third straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup and improved to a 5-5 win-loss record.

"We badly needed that win because we want to get out of the danger zone," proclaimed Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio, referring to the 7th and 8th spots that will be pitted against the No.1 and No. 2 teams after the elimination round which will enjoy a twice-to- beat advantages in the quarterfinals.

By avenging their 81-66 loss to the Tigers last 30 October, the Bolts moved up to a share of fourth place with defending champion B-Meg Derby Ace and reigning Fiesta Conference titlist Alaska and with a bright chance of improving further as they face cellar dweller Barako Bull in their next game on 1 December.

As he relishes their latest accomplishment, Gregorio heaped praises on Ross, who impressively kept their plays organized and made his teammates look good.

"It's nice to see guys like Chris making a big contribution on our team. He was probably dismissed already by most teams early in his career but he is proving that he deserves to be in this league," Gregorio said.

"But when the game is on the line who else would we turn to but SuperMac," added the Meralco coach, referring to Cardona.

With the game tied at 84, the Bolts went to Cardona who fumbled off a double team but quickly redeemed himself by picking up the loose ball for a looping lay-up to give Meralco the lead with 30 seconds remaining.

Cardona, who struggled on a 9 of 21 shooting, sealed the game by making two free throws with seven seconds left.

It was another frustrating loss for the Tigers who struggled with offense most of the game and missed crucial plays down the stretch.

Powerade had a chance to again tie the game when Mark Macapagal was fouled by Nelbert Omolon with 19 seconds left and Meralco up, 86-84.

But the streak-shooting forward missed the first of his two free throws that effectively blew the Tigers' chances to send the game into overtime.

Macapagal, who came off the bench, and David, who struggled against Meralco's defense, each scored 18 points for Powerade which picked up its fifth consecutive defeat. With a 3- 8 record overall, the Tigers are now in danger of being eliminated. (DBC)

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