09 May 2015

Bolts 106, Beermen 95

Andre Emmet
Meralco fought back from a five-point deficit late in regulation play and lived on in the extra period even on the exit of two key players on fouls as the Bolts repulsed the San Miguel Beermen, 106-95, in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last 8 May 2015.

Andre Emmett kept Meralco intact on the ouster of Gary David and Reynel Hugnatan on the onset of overtime, with the Bolts import delivering eight of his 31 points in OT as they bounced back from a 19-point blowout by the Globalport Batang Pier Tuesday.

Rey Guevarra and James Sena ably filled in for David and Hugnatan, making clutch baskets of their own to help Meralco back on the winning track since being swept and disposed of by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the recent Commissioner’s Cup Final Four.

The Bolts barged into the win-column in the season-ending tourney despite still awaiting the playing clearance for Asian import Benny Koochoie.

The American/Iranian has actually been cleared by the Iranian cage federation. Meralco, however, still needs to work on Koochoie’ papers with the Games and Amusements Board.

David fired 23 points while Reynel Hugnatan put a good job as June Mar Fajardo’s lead defender.

On their exit, the Bolts hardly wavered, going to Emmett, Guevarra and Sena to beat the Beermen in the first overtime game in the tourney.

“It’s a big win considering we’re coming off a loss. The last thing we wanted was to go 0-2,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.

“It’s good balance game for us. We didn’t play well against Globalport. Tonight, I thought our locals played well alongside out import. Defensively, we’re more sound. Our post defense against June Mar was decent,” Black also said.

The Bolts stepped up in the crunch, forcing overtime at 91-all then sustaining the momentum to overwhelm the Beermen, 15-4, in the extension play.

The reigning Philippine Cup champion Beermen crumbled at the finish and reeled with a second straight loss after a 78-83 reversal by the Kia Carnival Wednesday.

Before the game, AZ Reid assured SMB top official Robert Non he’s ready to play.

Reid, however, went 4-of-15 from the floor and had crucial lapses, indicating he’s still feeling the ill effects of a stomach infection causing his hospitalization a few days ago.

Fajardo came up with 22 points and 16 rebounds while Arwind Santos and Marcio Lassiter added 14 and 13 markers, respectively, for the Beermen who stormed out of the game, 18-9, and held sway most of the way.

They looked headed for a win with a five-point lead at 89-84 with time down to 3:04.

But Mike Cortez and Cliff Hodge banged away big baskets enabling the Bolts to catch up at 91-all.

SMB seized control early and enjoyed an 11-point lead at 40-29 but then went silent for nearly six minutes and needed two charities by Alex Cabagnot with no time left to take the half at 42-41.

During SMB’s scoreless spell, Emmett, David and Hugnatan joined forces to pull Meralco ahead at 41-40.

Through the half, Emmett was the lone player in double figures with 10 points on 4-of-13 field shooting and 2-of-2 charities.

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