28 January 2015

Bolts 85, Ginebra 74

Josh Davis Meralco
As we reported before, "No Michael Dunigan, No Problem."

After they lost Dunigan in a tug of war with Barangay Ginebra, Meralco Bolts showed everyone that it was actually a blessing in disguise. The Bolts were able to tap Josh Davis, who showed much better numbers than Dunigan in National Basketball Association Development League (NBA D-League). And those numbers were again made more evident last night (27 January 2015)) after the Bolts trounce the Kings, 85-74, in the opening night of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The former San Diego State energy guy made a remarkable PBA debut, logging 25 points and 24 rebounds to to lead all Meralco players.

Gary David scored 21 points coming off the bench, helping the Bolts beat the Kings in the mid-season tourney for the first time in the last three years.

Davis won his matchup with Dunigan, with his great energy and enthusiasm proving to be a big difference as the Bolts got off to a good start in the following a sixth-place finish in the recent all-Filipino tourney.

The Bolts came out well prepared for the highly touted Ginebra import, holding him down to 17 points and 15 rebounds.

Well familiar with the former Air21 reinforcement, Meralco coach Norman Black threw different defensive looks at Dunigan – the last being John Ferriols who even chipped in four points, five rebounds and two steals.

The Bolts also contained the other Ginebra starters in LA Tenorio, Mark Caguioa, Japeth Aguilar and Chris Ellis, spoiling their return under the tutelage of coach Ato Agustin. As a result, outside Dunigan, no other Ginebra starter scored more than six.

Meralco seized control in the second quarter, pulled away to a 19-point spread in the third period and held sway to the finish though playing minus top forward Jared Dillinger.

Greg Slaughter and Josh Urbiztondo provided the firepower as the Kings charged to within eight points midway through the final canto. However, Davis and David themselves came up with the crucial efforts to prevent the Kings from getting closer. Thus, Slaughter’s 23 points and 16 rebounds and Urbiztondo’s 11 markers went down the drain.

Before a good crowd that included some PBA visitors from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the Kings got off to a fine start, taking the opening quarter at 18-13. The problem is that they failed to sustain their effort most probably because they are still readjusting to the new system put up by their returning coach.
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