04 September 2013

Bolts 84, Aces 74

Mario West
Mario West erupted for 20 points to outscore the entire Alaska Milk team in the third quarter and fuel Meralco's breakaway en route to an 84-74 win in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Tuesday night (3 September 2013).

Held to eight points in the first half, West went on an attack mode in the third period, going 6-of-12 from the field and 8-of-12 from the stripe for the biggest output by any player in a quarter in this conference.

He outscored the Aces, 20-19, in that quarter as he became aggressive, electrifying the Bolts who went on to gain a piece of second place with the Barako Bull Energy Cola and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at 3-2.

With tremendous boost from West, the Bolts seized control in the second half, leading by as many as 16 at 73-57 before eventually handing the Aces a second loss in four starts.

The Aces moved down to joint fifth with the Globalport Batang Pier and the Talk n Text Tropang Texters.

"It was a good timing for us to play Alaska while they're playing a third game in seven days. It's imperative for us to try to find ways to outhustle them,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.

"We also found ways to compete defensively. We made a good job on (Wendell) McKines. We didn’t give him open looks. That's why we held him down to 13 points,” Gregorio also said.

West's effort wasn't lost on his coach.

"He's a bit frustrated in the first half. We had a bit of running mouth competition but, in the end, he's professional. He went through it," said Gregorio.

"He's a warrior, he’s a competitor. He got to the line 21 times and that's part of the strategy," Gregorio added.

Reynel Hugnatan made a big contribution, collecting 12 points and 11 rebounds before being helped to the bench with an injured ankle with 3:10 left to play.

John Wilson chipped in 15 points and six rebounds while Cliff Hodge added 10 boards and six markers.

The Bolts worked on a tough defense together, limiting the Aces to their lowest output in a game in the conference.

Alaska's 74 actually tied the conference low that first went down in Rain or Shine’s 94-74 conquest of Globalport on Aug. 17.

McKines struggled for 13 points and 10 rebounds – a far cry from his 27-point and 15-rebound exploits versus the Ginebra Kings Sunday. (SB)

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