18 July 2016

Bolts 100, Aces 96

Jared Dillinger
Meralco started flat but finished with a flurry as the Bolts surged past the Alaska Milk, 100-96, to gain the early solo lead with a 2-0 win-loss record in the 2016 PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last 17 July.

The Bolts wiped away an early 10-point deficit, 18-28, established control in the third and held on to notch a second straight win following a 108-103 drubbing of the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Friday.

"Good thing we're able to survive this weekend. With back-to-back games, I'm worried as Alaska is resting. I'm happy we came through," said Meralco coach Norman Black.

"We fumbled in the end. We had a pretty good control of the game but we made a few mistakes allowing them to get back into the game. Even then, we're off to a good start in the tourney," Black added.

Allen Durham picked up from where he left off in the Meralco-Phoenix match, coming through with another solid all-around game with 36 points, 15 rebounds and five assists versus LaDontae Henton and his Alaska Milk teammates.

Against the Fuel Masters and Marcus Simmons, the returning PBA import collected 32 markers, 22 boards and five dish-offs.

"I don'’t know yet what his numbers are but I'm sure it's quite plenty. I really believe we'll be solid the entire tournament with him," said Black.

Chris Newsome, Jared Dillinger and Reynel Hugnatan also delivered sterling games as the Bolts strung up back-to-back wins after losing their best-of-five showdown with the Aces in the last Commissioner’s Cup Final Four.

Newsome scored 19 points while Dillinger and Hugnatan contributed 13 and 11, respectively, versus the Calvin Abueva-less Alaska side.

Alaska coach Alex Compton opted to give Abueva an extended rest after his stint with Gilas Pilipinas.

Even then, the Aces put up a whale of a fight. They had a chance to pull even at endgame at 99 but LaDontae Henton missed a three-point attempt.
Henton also had huge numbers with 33 markers and 12 boards in his PBA debut.

RJ Jazul and Kevin Racal were the other Aces who scored in double figures with 13 and 11, respectively.

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