24 March 2011

Bolts 111, Powerade 85

Bolts vs Powerade
Macmac Cardona and Sol Mercado are now playing together as teammates – a big reason why Meralco is up and about.

Cardona and Mercado shared the ball and had huge contribution together as Meralco made it two in a row with a 111-85 rout of Powerade in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum Wednesday (25 March 2011) night.

After a come-from-behind 89-86 win over B-MEG Derby Ace Friday, Meralco returned to blast Powerade, speaking well of the Bolts' determination to land a spot in the playoffs.

Their back-to-back wins after four successive defeats had the Bolts improving a rung up to joint seventh place with the Air21 Express, half-game behind the sixth-running Llamados (3-4).

The Tigers slid to ninth place at 2-5.

"We're bolting together now," said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.

"We're learning to play with one another. The big reason why we succeeded tonight was the tandem of Macmac Cardona and Sol Mercado beginning to watch each other’s back and co-exist," Gregorio added.

The youthful Meralco mentor said the management made an effort to help develop good relationship between the two Meralco stars.

"Macmac and Sol together with our top team officials watched the movie Blind Side. It’s aboutwatching each other's back. In this game, Macmac now wanted to be big brother to Sol, and so did Sol to Macmac," Gregorio said.

Cardona put in a game high 25 points that went with six rebounds, four assists and two steals while Mercado added 12 points, five rebounds and the same number of assists.

Champ Oguchi had another solid all-around game with 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

The rest of the team also made their presence felt.

For Powerade, Gary David struggled for 14 points after averaging 35.5 in their last two outings.

Meralco simply outplayed Powerade, sending the Tigers to the brink of elimination.

The Bolts went on a searing breakaway in the second quarter and never looked back.

Cardona made 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting, leading a torrid second-quarter assault that gave Meralco a 60-43 cushion at the turn.

The Bolts hit at a 72.2-percent clip in the second period as against the Tigers’ 37.5-percent marksmanship.

Meralco finished with a 57.5-percent shooting, way better than Powerade's 36.6-percent clip. (SB)

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