13 March 2015

Bolts 98, Barako Bull 85

Reynel Hugnatan
With help from Reynel Hugnatan, Josh Davis shook off the cobwebs from Meralco’s two-week layoff , ending the Bolts’ two-game slide with a 98-85 decision over Barako Bull in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum for the first of the league's double-header on Friday the 13th.

With the All-Star break giving the 24-year-old ample time to recuperate and heal the swelling of his hip bone following a bad fall in their game against San Miguel Beer two weeks ago, Davis punished Barako Bull with an all-out attack to the tune of 32 points, 19 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.

"It’s nice to have Josh Davis back and 100-percent. His activity and energy made difference for this game," praised Meralco coach Norman Black.

Drawing inspiration from his gritty performance in the 2015 PBA All-Star Game five days prior, Hugnatan also had his best offensive game this conference, finishing in double digits for the first time this Commissioner’s Cup with his 21 points to go with six rebounds.

Before Friday, the grizzled bruiser only averaged five points per game this conference and it seems like Barako Bull has always been a favorite for Hugnatan, as he also recorded his career-high of 28 points in their elimination round meeting back in the Philippine Cup.

Gary David also caught fire in the fourth, drilling 11 of his 14 markers in the payoff period to help the Bolts stave off the pesky Energy.

"I think one reason why we played really well was because we shared the basketball, our passes led to wide open jump shots, and also Gary David got hot in the second half," said Black.

After Nico Salva anchored the Energy in a fourth quarter rally, Hugnatan came through for Meralco in the clutch, bailing out the Bolts on a right corner trey to beat the shot clock and put an end to the uprising. David further hammered the nail in the coffin with another three which placed the game out of reach, 92-81, with less than two minutes left in the game.

Black was glad that Meralco finally stopped the bleeding and once again figure itself among the league leaders, as they tied idle Talk ‘N Text for the top spot at 6-2.

"We really want to get to where we were before Josh got hurt. It’s a nice win for us," Black added.

It also relegated Barako Bull at the eighth spot, holding on for dear life as it finds itself side-by-side with the dangerous Kia squad at 4-5.

Towering reinforcement Solomon Alabi was limited to just 14 points and 12 rebounds for Barako Bull, while Paolo Hubalde and Chico Lanete both got 13 in the loss.

Salva also poured in all of his 10 markers in the fourth while JC Intal also registered the same output.

No comments:

Post a Comment