31 January 2015

Bolts 90, Kia 80

Jai Reyes
Playing in just his second game with his new team, Jai Reyes played the role of a hero for Meralco as the Bolts took an early lead in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, turning back Kia, 90-80, to stay undefeated after two games Friday (30 January 2015) at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

The diminutive Reyes admirably filled in the role of Mike Cortez — who is out temporarily because of a hurting knee — and drained three treys to finish with a career-high 16 points, four rebounds, and four assists, awaking the slumping Bolts which fell behind by as much as 11 in the first half.

"I’m happy for the effort gave by Jai because he played a big role in orchestrating our offense in the second half," said Meralco head coach Norman Black.

Gary David continued his hot streak, scoring nine of his 25 markers in the payoff period, while Josh Davis once again proved that he's more than just a replacement choice for Black with his 19 points, 19 rebounds and seven steals for the Bolts who are in a 2-0 conference start for the second straight time this season.

Kia took an early lead behind PJ Ramos in the first half as Meralco struggled to find its footing with only Davis getting his shots down.

It was a different second half, however, as the Bolts slowly took control and kept the Carnival at bay. With Kia closing in on Meralco, 69-68, David and Reyes took command in an Bolts 11-3 tear to finally escape with the victory.

"We did a good job at halftime to instill more energy on our defense," said Black, who now eyes a first-ever 3-0 conference start for the Meralco franchise against Talk ‘N Text on Wednesday.

The Bolts, who won over Barangay Ginebra 85-74 at the start of the second conference last Tuesday, won despite also missing the services — aside from Cortez — of Jared Dillinger who’s also nursing a strained knee.

Ramos led the Carnival with 34 points and 21 rebounds, while JR Buensuceso chimed in 11 markers in a losing effort for KIA.

Reil Cervantes, Kia’s leading scorer in the Philippine Cup and No. 2 overall in the conference, also missed the game because of an ankle sprain. (RL)

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