30 September 2016

Bolts 106, KaTropa 91

Jimmy Alapag
The Meralco Bolts showed everyone that the almost invincible TNT Katropa can also be beaten if one has the guts to outhustle, outmaneuver and outgun it at every turn. That what the Bolts did last 29 September to knot their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series at one game apiece at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts zoomed to a strong start then capped it with a solid finish as they stunningly coasted to the blowout victory in Game Two to atone for a one-sided loss in the series opener.

Jimmy Alapag went on a blazing 4-of-4 clip from three to lead the charge with 16 points and four assists. He also moved six triples away from surpassing Allan Caidic for the record on most threes made in PBA history.

Allen Durham led the Bolts with 31 points and 21 boards, while Chris Newsome bounced back from a woeful outing as the rookie playmaker registered 17 points, 10 boards, and five assists for the Bolts, who handed the Texters only their second loss of the conference.

"We played a lot better tonight than we played in the second half of Game One," Bolts coach Norman Black said. "We didn’t have much time (to make adjustments), but the things we talked about worked today."

Cliff Hodge provided his usual energy and timely long-range shooting, while Reynel Hugnatan returned to the starting lineup and made the most out of it as the veteran forward finished with 12 points, five assists, and three boards.

Jared Dillinger added eight points before unfortunately suffering a minor hamstring injury in the waning seconds for the Bolts, who led from start to finish and established a cushion that ballooned to 24 points. It is not certain yet if the injury is serious.

Jayson Castro scored a team-high 24 points, but the Texters superstar didn’t play in the fourth quarter where the Bolts entered with a 20-point margin.

Looking at the tiff as a must win, the Bolts jumped the gun and erected a 29-15 lead after the first quarter and held off the KaTropa’s numerous rallies with a lead as high as 24, 76-52.

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