16 March 2014

Bolts 104, Batang Pier 99

Brian Butch
Brian Butch is on the rampage again. This time he drained a big trey down the stretch to cap a monster 42-point and 24-rebound performance, powering Meralco to a 104-99 win over GlobalPort in the PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Saturday night (15 March 2014).

The sweet-shooting 6-foot-11 import made six triples in all, the last one stopping GlobalPort on its tracks after having erased an 18-point deficit and tied the count at 97-all with 1:26 left to play.

The Batang Pier actually had a chance to pull ahead but Evan Brock muffed two charities with 1:15 to go in this Petron-sponsored Saturday special.

In the next play, Butch coolly sank a bailed-out three-pointer, and the Bolts went on to nail a second straight win following an 85-76 drubbing of the Alaska Aces the last time out.

The Batang Pier eventually yielded the game as Terrence Romeo missed his own three-point attempt in the last 30 seconds.

Anjo Caram buried two free throws a second later, and the Batang Pier reeled with a fourth loss in a row.

It was a tough defeat for the Batang Pier who showed great guts in charging back from an 18-point deficit at 43-61 early in the third quarter.

The Batang Pier played a three-guard combination as they applied a full-court pressing defense during their rally.

Jewel Ponferada scored three straight baskets underneath then Brock converted two foul shots as GlobalPort eventually pulled even at 97-all.

A missed harried three-pointer by Gary David opened an opportunity for GlobalPort to seize the lead. Alas, Brock bungled the important free throws.

"I thought they did a good job destroying our rhythm. It's nice to win this game really because it was slowly slipping away," said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio after the match.

“We wanted to win two of our first three games, and that was our modest goal. Now, we try to forget this kind of win and try to test the unblemished record of Talk n Text,” Gregorio added.

The Bolts tangle with the Tropang Texters Friday with Jared Dillinger likely to be already back in harness.

Curiously, Meralco went 2-0 in the absence of Dillinger.

"I’m certain Jared will play against Talk n Text," said Gregorio.

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