16 July 2016

Bolts 108, Fuel Masters 103

Allen Durham
Meralco Bolts import Allen Durham bullied his way to a dominant outing while veteran point guard Jimmy Alapag provided some excellent support as they took their PBA Governors’ Cup opener, 108-103, over Phoenix on 15 July at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Durham finished with 32 big points and 22 rebounds while Alapag had 15 points and team-high six assists to lead Meralco.

Jared Dillinger also finished with 15 points while Chris Newsome added 13. Cliff Hodge had 12 markers.

Phoenix import Marcus Simmons had 21 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Fuel masters.

Alapag put together a masterful first half, knocking down four three-pointers and dishing out four assists to orchestrate a Meralco offense that was able to score 54 points over the first two periods.

The 'Mighty Mouse' hit two of those in a huge second quarter rally that swung a tied ballgame at 29-apiece in the Bolts' favor, 49-37.

Meralco finished the half leading by 13 points, 54-41, with Alapag and Durham both notching 12 points by the break.

The Phoenix outside shooters, though, found their range in the third quarter with John Wilson knocking down two shots from distance and Simon Enciso adding one as the Fuel Masters mounted a 14-0 run to make it a game once again, 56-55.

Phoenix shot 3-for-12 from distance in the first half before hitting five of their first six attempts in the third quarter.

Meralco, after getting some steady free throw shooting from Durham and Asian import Mohammad Jamshidi of Iran late, led 75-71 heading into the fourth.

Josh Urbiztondo and Enciso continued the Fuel Masters’ hot shooting in the fourth as they moved into the lead at 85-84.

Some big plays from Dillinger, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, put the Bolts back on top and Newsome put them up by four points after he got open for a layup.

Enciso kept Phoenix’s hopes alive with a booming three-pointer, cutting Meralco’s lead back down to one, 101-100, but Durham took over with fine work off the glass, cleaning up a missed fastbreak layup from Anjo Caram with a slam dunk and grabbing another missed attempt – this one from Jamshidi – to get two more second chance points for a 105-100 lead with 41 seconds remaining.

Phoenix’s most recent acquisition, former Alaska guard Cyrus Baguio, was in uniform but did not play.

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