15 June 2014

Bolts 123, GlobalPort 95

Gary David
Mario West churned in a triple double while Gary David shot the lights out of the Alonte Sports Arena last 14 June as Meralco ended its campaign in the 2013-14 season with bang, routing GlobalPort 123-95 in a PLDT HomePad PBA Governors Cup double header in this bustling Laguna city.

In a battle between two teams which have already been eliminated in the race for the eight-team playoffs, West came up with 30 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists while David had a personal two-conference high of 33 points to lead the Bolts which formally wound up the season-ending third conference with a 3-6 win-loss slate.

It was the first time this season two teammates scored at least 30 points each in a game, and first since Mark Caguioa and Dior Lowhorn had 32 and 31 points, respectively, in a Barangay Ginebra 101-100 win over Rain or Shine also in the Governors Cup Sept. 14 last season.

There was still the possibility of Meralco ending up in a tie for the eighth and last quarterfinal spot if Barako Bull loses its last game against Alaska Sunday. But the Energy would still advance via the winner-over-the-other rule, having beaten the Bolts 95-94 in the conference-opening game last May 18.

"We just wanted to finish on a high note. It’s been a frustrating season for us," said Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio, whose team failed to advance to the conference playoffs for the second time in three conferences this season.

"But at least last six games we were three and three. But still not enough for us to get to the next level," Gregorio added.

The Bolts, who also got double-digit outputs from three other locals led by the 19 of Reynel Hugnatan, led from start to finish, racing to an 8-0 lead at the start of the game en route to a 34-15 edge after the first 12 minutes of play.

Lowhorn, who finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and two steals to lead the Batang Pier, then rallied his team, cutting the deficit to just 66-61 in the third quarter. But the Bolts responded with another 8-0 run highlighted by a triple each from David and Mike Cortez, bringing the Meralco lead back up to double digits.

GlobalPort dropped its seventh game in a row and finished the conference with a 1-8 slate, its second straight tourney under head coach Pido Jarencio of not advancing to the playoffs. (FM)

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