09 March 2012

Bolts 89, Ginebra 80

Earl Barron
Meralco gained some relief, pumping back life on its sagging bid as it drubbed Barangay Ginebra,
89-80, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday (7 March 2012) night.

The Bolts pounced on the Kings as Jackson Vroman sat out long minutes in the second half due to fouls, building a huge 18-point lead it used as cushion in the face of Ginebra's endgame chase.

Earl Barron also got into foul trouble early but coped up with the situation, leading Meralco to its second win in six starts in the mid-season tourney.

Tasting a first win in three games with Barron, the Bolts moved up to ninth place, leaving the Rain
or Shine Elasto Painters (1-4) by their lonesome at the cellar.

The Kings, meanwhile, slid to joint second place with the Alaska Aces, the B-Meg Llamados and the Petron Blaze Boosters at 3-2. Half-game behind are Air21 and Powerade at 2-2.

"For as long as there's still a game to be played, we're hoping that we can catch the last bus. It will help if we start winning now," said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.

"Feeling talaga namin do-or-die na kami from hereon kaya talagang nagpapakamatay na kami," said Macmac Cardona.

Barron top scored with 27 points with Cardona adding 25 and Sol Mercado 17.

"In this game, we saw a glimpse of what we could be in the future," said Gregorio.

"Many are saying Mac and Sol can't co-exist. But at least in this game, the two guys showed that they can work together," Gregorio added.

Barron, Cardona and Mercado all had a hand as the Bolts cut loose from a tight game, racing to an 18-point spread at 66-48.

The Bolts made a decisive move as Vroman picked up a fourth foul just 90 seconds into the second half.

Vroman had just checked in towards the end of the third when he incurred a fifth foul, necessitating his return to the bench.

Barron was the first to get into foul trouble but the Bolts managed to play through it, enjoying a 41-35 lead at the half.

After a long rest, Barron returned smoking, piling up 15 points in the third quarter and 10 in the payoff quarter.

Down by 16 at the end of the third, the Kings went to Vroman and Mark Caguioa as they mounted a rally at endgame.

The Kings twice came to within four, the last at 79-83 with 1:27 left, but scored only a free throw the rest of the way. (SB)

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