04 December 2013

Bolts 100, Ginebra 87

Bolts vs Ginebra
Meralco made short work of league cellar dweller Air21 the last time and humbled previously unbeaten joint leader Barangay Ginebra San Miguel this time.

The Bolts stoked the fire of their 112-79 rout of the Express and pulled off a king-sized 100-87 upset of the Kings in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Tuesday night (3 December 2013).

On the same page playing defense and offense throughout, the Bolts ended the Kings' unbeaten run, allowing the Petron Blaze Boosters to gain solo lead in the tourney at 3-0.

The Bolts improved to 2-2 while the Kings moved down to joint second place with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Talk n Text Tropang Texters at 3-1.

"We're fortunate that we got them in an off night. They were not scoring the way they usually score. Maybe, it's because of their highly emotional game against GlobalPort. Maybe, it sucked the energy out of them," said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio, trying to downplay their effort.

"If you want to compete against a taller, longer team, you've got to play quicker. I think we were able to do that," Gregorio also said.

Jared Dillinger best typified what the Bolts did against the Kings, battling every inch of the way to pace the Bolts with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

The 6-foot-4 Fil-Am forward was among those who stepped up and filled in for the early exit of Reynel Hugnatan, joining Cliff Hodge in the sideline.

Hugnatan would be out for two to three weeks if initial prognosis on his injury turns out right.

"When Rey went down, we got the guys together and said 'hey, we have to step up a bit more,'" said Dillinger.

"We're able to do the job, we beat Ginebra, and I can't be more than happy with that," Dillinger added.

Playing extended minutes on Hugnatan’s ouster, Dillinger responded to the challenge, pouring in 13 points to lead Meralco’s third-quarter breakaway.

They took the half at 46-35 and pulled away at 78-53 on a sustained torrid attack in the third period.

The Kings just couldn’t mount a serious comeback with both their offense and defense looking in disarray.

They failed to make it 4-0 – a start the franchise haven’t done since 1992.

It's a complete team effort for the Bolts with everyone doing their job though others didn't get much numbers.

Cortez delivered 21 points while Gary David, Rabeh Al-Hussaini and John Wilson chipped in 14 apiece.

"We're a new team. It takes time to bond, but we're doing a good job on what we’re doing so far," said Dillinger.

Dillinger made special mention of Al-Hussaini. He said: "He's hungry. He has chips on his shoulder and he wants to prove something."

The whole team proved something in this contest. (SB)

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