23 November 2015

Bolts 87, Hotshots 79

Gary David and Cliff Hodge
Gary David frolicked with 11 of his 26 points in the last eight minutes of the game and the Meralco Bolts finally got away with a first win in the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup with an 87-83 decision over the Star Hotshots last 21 November at Cuneta Astrodome.

David strung up those 11 markers from a 76-all deadlock, allowing Meralco to open an 87-79 gap before eventually notching a breakthrough triumph after five straight losses.

Coach Norman Black and his troops hope they get going from this victory.

"We're much better than a 0-5 team. We practiced much better than a 0-5 team. This team is better than what we’ve shown so far," said Black, still with high hopes with his team.

"Our major problem is that sometimes three guys are on the same page, two are not. Sometimes, two guys are on the same page, three are not," Black also said.

They finally pulled through at the expense of the Hotshots whom they dealt a fourth loss against only two wins.

The Hotshots dropped down to ninth place, just half-game ahead of the Mahindra Enforcers (1-4) and the Blackwater Elite (1-4).

Averaging 20.2 points a game, David kept his torrid scoring pace as he went 12-of-25 from the field and 1-of-1 from the stripe.

He found tremendous rhythm in the payoff period as he personally handed the Bolts their first win in PBA Season 41.

Neither team led by more than seven until David’s fourth-quarter explosion.

"Gary gave us a lot of stability. We actually needed his points almost every minute of the game," said Black.

Starting center Rabeh Al-Hussaini contributed 12 points, three rebounds and two assists while second-string forward Reynel Hugnatan put in 10 markers and the same number of rebounds in this Petron Blaze Saturday Special.

James Yap also produced 26 points for the Hotshots but only six in the final canto.

Averaging 14.4 points, James Yap topped this with 17 right in the first half.

Yousef Taha helped with 10 rebounds and seven markers and two steals as the Hotshots took a 44-43 edge at the turn.

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