21 June 2011

Bolts 81, Aces 78

Bolts vs Aces
Mark Isip came through with a clutch play at the finish in his return from a 28-point game, and Meralco went to a 2-0 roll in the PBA Governors’ Cup with an 81-78 nipping of Alaska Milk in a road game here Saturday night (18 June 2011).

After Champ Oguchi missed what could have been an insurance three-pointer, Isip collared the offensive rebound and knocked in a charity for the cushion carrying the Bolts to the win just the same.

The Bolts fended off the Aces to tie the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters atop the leader board at 2-0.

The Aces battled back from a 14-point deficit but failed to complete their rally with LA Tenorio missing two three-point tries in the last 28 seconds.

Tenorio muffed an attempt for a go-ahead basket then for an equalizer after the Bolts made it 81-78 on Isip’s crucial play with 2.6 seconds left.

The Aces suffered a second straight defeat following a 75-101 rout by the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters Wednesday.

Meralco continued to play well despite missing the services of injured top gun Mark Cardona as the Bolts drew the needed boost from Oguchi, Sol Mercado and Gabby Espinas.

Averaging five triples a game in the season, the sleek-shooting Oguchi hit that number and finished with a game-high 28 points in this Phoenix Fuel-sponsored road tussle.

Espinas and Mercado put in 16 points apiece with the former winding up with a double-double job by also grabbing 12 rebounds.

The Bolts outmaneuvered the Aces in the first and third periods and hung tough under pressure at the finish.

With Jason Forte beginning to hit his strides in the second period, the Aces rallied from 13-point deficits and raced ahead, 42-37, at the half.

Forte soared high for a thunderous jam to start a 14-point second-period explosion after going scoreless in the first 15 minutes of the game.

He forged deadlocks at 33 and 35 on back-to-back jumpers followed by Wesley Gonzales' own two straight baskets to push Alaska upfront at 39-35.

Meralco pounced on Alaska's erratic performance early on, building a 14-point lead, 22-8, before taking the opening quarter at 27-14.

The Bolts enjoyed another 13-point spread at 29-16 before the Aces picked up their game and stemmed the tide in their favor through the first half.

The Aces were 0-of-6 from the three-point area but had a better overall field-goal shooting of 53 percent, compared to the Bolts’ 35 percent in the first 24 minutes of play.

Oguchi knocked in four triples and a total of 14 points in the first quarter but went scoreless in the next. (SB)

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