09 April 2016

Bolts 107, Aces 101

Jimmy Alapag
Jimmy Alapag took charge late and Meralco clinched a spot in the top two after beating Alaska, 107-101, in the 2016 PBA Commissioner's Cup last 8 April at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The former national team captain canned four freebies in the final two minutes and capped his throwback performance with a lefty layup for a 104-98 cushion with 33.6 seconds remaining.

Calvin Abueva tried to bring the Aces back to life, but to no avail as Meralco went on to gain a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.

Arinze Onuaku also came up huge for the Bolts. He was unstoppable in the paint, finishing the game with 28 points and 19 rebounds.

Alapag added 16 markers, seven of which during a crucial stretch while Jared Dillinger also chipped in 16.

At 8-2, Meralco head coach Norman Black said the Bolts are still going the top seed.

"Definitely, we want to win our last game to get some momentum going to the playoffs. So when we take the court against Ginebra on Wednesday, we're going for the win," he said. "Whoever we play (in the quarterfinals), bahala na."

Black also relished winning over Alaska for the first time in two years.

"It's nice to beat the Aces for the first time since I handled the Meralco team."

Still, his focus remains on his team’s progress going into the playoffs.

"Our offense is already picking up, but it's our defense which is saving us the day. For us to win this conference, we have to play defense and we did it tonight, stopping a very good offensive team from scoring a lot of points," said Black.

It was a sorry loss for Alaska, especially for Abueva, who had a superb showing with 27 points and nine rebounds. He orchestrated that third quarter charge which allowed Alaska to momentarily take the lead, as well as the late uprising, capped off by Cyrus Baguio’s trey with 3:16 still left to play to knot the score at 98.

The defeat cost Alaska its bid to gain top two as it dropped to 6-4. The Aces battle the NLEX Road Warriors exactly a week from now in their final game in the elimination round.

No comments:

Post a Comment