24 May 2012

Bolts 105, Texters 99

Bolts vs Texters
Finally! Meralco Bolts was able to win one against their more favoured sister team, Talk n Text. After having lost all their five previous encounters against the Texters, the Bolts finally managed to pull one after several Texter player were plagued with all sorts of injuries.

The Bolts had their anxious moments early on but got going in the final half, opening their campaign in the PBA Governors Cup with a 105-99 win over the Texters at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on 23 May 2012.

Returning import Champ Oguchi and Sol Mercado combined for 53 points to lead the Bolts to a triumphant start in the season-ending tourney where they finished eighth last year.

"That's an enormous break for us -- the champs playing with five of their main players out," said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.

"We made sure to find ways to win. We take this win any way we can," added Gregorio after getting past the TnT team playing minus injured players Jimmy Alapag, Jason Castro, Kelly Williams, Ryan Reyes and Harvey Carey.

"It's nice to win over Talk n Text. It's our first against them. Hopefully, it's not the last," Gregorio also said.

The Bolts had never beaten the Texters in the first five conferences they played in the pro league.

Reynel Hugnatan churned out double-double numbers with 12 points and 12 rebounds while Mark Cardona fired 15 points for the Bolts who are hoping to improve on their sixth place finish in the recent
Commissioner’s Cup.

Gregorio was hopeful their win over Talk n Text could give them a needed boost.

"It's a cutthroat tourney, and we're up against tough opponents in our first four games. But with a boost tonight, definitely we can pull off surprises," said Gregorio.

Though short-handed, the Texters put up a tough fight with Paul Harris leading their bid with game-highs of 32 points and 13 rebounds.

Ironically, Harris also had the most number of errors with eight.

The Bolts forced the Texters to a total of 21 turnovers and produced 24 points off those.

Paul Artadi scored on a breakaway layup off a passing error by Harris then Oguchi banged away a triple as Meralco took a crucial 99-91 lead entering the last three minutes of play.

Oguchi himself rattled in baskets keeping the Texters at bay in the homestretch.

The returning Meralco import made three triples, seven twinners and six charities while Mercado sank one trey and a total of 24 points. (SB)

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