29 March 2015

What To Expect in Game 2

Bolts vs NLEX
After Meralco Bolts took Game 1, 97-82, in their best-of-three quarterfinals match-up with NLEX Road Warriors, it is still too early to tell that the series will end in Game 2.

Both teams are equally balanced and they have two experienced coaches, NLEX's Boyet Fernandez and Bolts' Norman Black. It should also be noted that Meralco and NLEX finished the elimination round with identical 6-5 win-loss cards. But by virtue of quotient system, NLEX placed fourth while Meralco wound up fifth.

Notwithstanding their similarities, fans should be treated with an interesting match-up.

Import Al Thornton has been a beast for NLEX. Thornton almost single-handedly carried the Road Warriors to a franchise-best five-straight wins to help the team wind up fourth after the elimination round. With a healthy Thornton, an NBA veteran, NLEX is a dangerous squad to go up against.

Josh Davis, on the other hand, proved to be tailor-fit for the defense-oriented Meralco. With Davis, the Bolts were off to a 5-0 start for Meralco before hurting his shoulder against San Miguel Beer. Expect him to grab more rebounds and score more, especially on putbacks, with a semifinals berth on the line.

The Road Warriors have relied heavily on Al Thornton, who has averaged 31.5 points highlighted by a 50-point game against Ginebra. Hence, it is not surprising to see Meralco's defense to focus on him.

NLEX locals should step up big time in the best-of-three series. So far, only KG Canaleta and Asi Taulava have been the consistent scorers, each norming around 10 points a game.

Meralco had been ruthless on defense on its way to five straight wins. It hasn't been the same after Josh Davis injured his back against San Miguel Beer. But now that Davis is back at full strength and the Bolts finally finding their groove, defense will be the primary weapon against NLEX.

Apart from the clash between two of the league's prolific imports, this series' highlight is the showdown between Meralco's Gary David and KG Canaleta. Expect a shootout between the two gunners, who both are the top local scorers for their respective teams.

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