16 December 2013

Bolts 73, Petron 77

Bolts vs Petron
Petron Blaze found a solution on Meralco's collapsing defense in the second half and went on to stay perfect halfway through the PLDT MyDSL PBA Philippine Cup elimination round with a 77-73 win in a road game at the Dipolog City Sports Complex last 14 December 2013.

Shackled by the Bolts’ zone defense early on, the Boosters ran at every opportunity in their return from the halftime break, thus, seizing command and emerging victorious in the Petron Blaze-sponsored Saturday special.

The Boosters made a decisive run in the third quarter and held off the Bolts' endgame chase for their seventh win in as many outings in the all-Filipino tourney.

They threw Meralco off-balanced in the final half and subsequently handed the Bolts a fourth loss against three wins.

But despite the loss, the Bolts stayed at sixth place, ahead of the Barako Bull Energy Cola (2-4), the Alaska Milk Aces (2-5), the San Mig Coffee Mixers (1-5) and the Air21 Express (1-6).

They worked hard to contain Junmar Fajardo, but the Cebuano sophomore pro still wreaked havoc with 19 rebounds, 12 points and three blocks.

The 6-foot-10 behemoth got the needed defensive rebounds allowing Petron to run transition offense that pushed the team ahead, 64-53, going to the final quarter.

The Bolts dragged the Boosters to a slow-break battle early on, taking a seven-point lead at 27-20 before closing the first half at 37-34.

Sensing trouble, the Boosters pushed the tempo in the final half, getting huge inroads in the third period, 30-16.

The Bolts made their own adjustments in the fourth quarter but they ran out of time in their comeback bid.

Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos were also there to deal the Bolts punishment in the third period.

Cabagnot, Lassiter and Santos quickened the pace of the game in the third, disallowing Meralco from setting up the zone it used to put up a tough fight in the first 24 minutes of play.

Meralco engaged Petron in a battle early on behind a zone defense and a set offense anchored on the team’s shooters.

The Bolts collapsed on Fajardo each time he got the ball down low.Offensively, the Meralco wingmen delivered the goods as the Bolts took the half at 37-34.Jared Dillinger and Gary David came out firing, and Meralco led by seven points at 27-20 on a nine-to-nothing roll.

After Petron regrouped and made its own run on Fajardo’s return from a brief rest, David and Dillinger again went on a scoring binge as Meralco sat on a three-point halftime lead.

The two Meralco gunners had combined for 22 points by the half.

Cabagnot had three treys and a three-point play to lead the Boosters with 12 markers in the first 24 minutes of play. (SB)

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