13 January 2014

Bolts 74, Aces 65

Coming out of a 34-point performance against Air21 last Saturday, Gary David followed it up with 24 points as he willed Meralco to a crucial 74-65 decision Friday (10 January 2014) in the 2014 PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum against the Alaska Aces.

"Kailangan na ito eh. Sanay ako sa ganitong laro na nasa ilalim kami ng standings," David said. "Ito na yung hinahanap ko na winning attitude. Umiiskor ako at may mga kasama akong grabe yung hussle sa rebounds, depensa, at blocks."

The second straight victory propelled Meralco to their fifth win in 12 outings, inching them closer in securing a quarterfinal slot, and avenged a 91-82 defeat to Alaska in their first meeting in the elims last 18 December 2013 at the MOA Arena.

The league's local scoring leader the last four seasons, David scored 10 of his points in the third quarter where the Bolts broke away. He also added seven boards and five assists in a rare all-around performance.

But it was gritty Jared Dillinger who seized the spotlight with his 10 points, seven rebounds, two steals, and two blocks, shrugging off a bloodied nose incurred in an altercation with Calvin Abueva early in the fourth.

Cliff Hodge chipped in 10 markers, while Reynel Hugnatan contributed nine points and nine boards.

"I told them to be ready for war," said Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio. "It's not gonna be easy against Alaska. They’re also fighting for survival like us".

"When you go to a war and you get bloodied, you just wipe it. You don't stop playing. So I thought when Dillinger had his bloody nose and he just wiped it, that's an incredible signal for everyone to just finish it up," he added.

With the Bolts leading by as much as 15, Abueva delivered a chasedown block on Dillinger, but his momentum brought both men leaning on the baseline barricade where the tussle ensued. Technical fouls were both meted to Dillinger and Abueva, both for second motion.

For Dillinger, the scuffle was just a result of the heat of the moment.

"Both teams knew the importance of the game. The rift between me and Calvin was two men going after the ball. Emotions were flying and the importance of the game was on the line. I have nothing against him. He was going hard and I was going hard. Sometimes, emotions overflow and there are no hard feelings," Dillinger explained after the game.

With the win, Meralco grabbed a share of the fifth spot with Barako Bull with their identical 5-7 slates while Alaska dropped to 4-8.

"We got our heads above the water temporarily with this win, but we know that there’s still two games left for us," Gregorio said.

JVee Casio poured in 15 points for Alaska, Sonny Thoss had a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds and Gabby Espinas added 13 points for the Aces, who were held to their lowest output and field goal percentage (33.3 percent) in a game in the conference. (RL)

No comments:

Post a Comment