07 March 2011

Bolts 89, Beermen 90

Bolts vs Beermen
Ira Brown scored on a tip-in as time expired, enabling San Miguel Beer to escape with 90-89 decision against the Meralco Bolts Friday (4 March 2011) in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

But the 28-year old improve won't have time to celebrate his heroics.

SMB head coach Ato Agustin revealed during the post-game interview that team manager Hec Calma was to talk to Brown later to inform him that he would be replaced.

Agustin said their replacement import, David Young, arrived Thursday evening fresh from a stint with the Jinlin Northeast Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).

"I’m sure he [Brown] will understand," said Agustin, adding they need an import that could create something in the 2-3 spots.

Brown collected 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his final stint with the Beermen, who bounced back from an 87-96 loss against Air21 last week.

"May halong suwerte ang panalo. But the guys didn't give up. They battled desperately for those loose balls and that was the key," Agustin said.

Trailing 88-89, the Beermen appeared to have lost the game when Jay Washington and Arwind Santos lost control of the ball one after the other before Meralco forward Rey Hugnatan took possession with seven seconds remaining.

But the Beermen didn't give up.

Santos redeemed himself by knocking the ball from Hugnatan giving SMB another chance to win the game.

With time running down, the ball went to Washington who drove hard to the basket for lay-up but missed. He went for the follow up but missed again. Santos tipped it back but also missed before Brown stole the show with a buzzer-beating follow-up off the glass.

"The last play wasn't exactly how we drew it up. I was trying to get to the basket, get it up there and get a foul but no luck. Good thing Ira got it and we escaped with a win," said Washington, who had 17 points despite going 7 for 22 from the field. He also had six rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Joseph Yeo scored 13 points, Alex Cabagnot had 12, new recruit Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Santos had 10 apiece for SMB which shot 48 percent from the field (36 of 77).

It was another frustrating loss for the Bolts, who are in danger of elimination after picking up their third loss in as many games.

After Washington tied the game at 75 with two free throws, Meralco went on a 13-4 run to seize control, 88-81, on a basket by Mark Cardona with 3:11 left.

Anthony Dandridge led all scorers with 23 on a 9-of-16 shooting in a game that could also be his last.

The Bolts are reportedly replacing the 2009 US NCAA slam dunk champion with Nigerian Chamberlain Oguchi, who also arrived Thursday night.

Cardona had 19 points, Asi Taulava added 13 and Gabby Espinas had 12 for the Bolts, who scored only a free throw, courtesy of Taulava, in the final 2:43 of the match. (DBC)

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