01 October 2016

Bolts 119, KaTropa 113

Bolts' Game 3 Win
What a game it was. It could even be considered as the best game the Meralco Bolts this conference or even in this season as they move a win away from their first ever finals appearance after beating top seed Talk 'N Text KaTropa in a shootout, 119-113, in Game 3 of their 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup best-of-five semifinals series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Who would have thought that Jimmy Alapag can still bury those long treys under pressure. Even more surprising to see bull-strong Reynel Hugnatan shooting 5-of-6 from the three-point area on this first day of October 2016.

It gets better for the Bolts after Chris Newsome flashed his athleticism with two vicious, rim-rattling slams that sparked the Bolts' stand in the fourth quarter as the sister squads finally engaged each other in a pulsating battle after the first two games ended in blowouts.

Special mention are in order addressed to Allen Durham who scored only two points in the fourth quarter, but was able to issue timely assists to Hugnatan and Alapag that confused the TNT defense. Cliff Hodge's made a critical block on Mykhal Ammons in the last 0:41 while Jonathan Uyloan threw a defensive wonder on the unsuspecting KaTropa.

Baser Amer also help sustain the Bolts momentum by scoring all of his 12 points in the pivotal fourth quarter.

The Bolts will try to shoot for a finals berth in Game 4 on 3 October 2016 and hope that the MVP Group will let the play and not influence the outcome of the game. TNT is the flagship company of MVP ever since it change its name from Mobiline in 2001. Meralco joined the league only in 2010 after acquiring the Sta. Lucia franchise.

"We had a lot of contributions and I don’t even know where to start. I was looking at the scoreboard and everybody contributed," said Meralco head coach Norman Black.

"I couldn’t be more proud of my players to get over the hump in a way. This was a crucial win for us tonight."

Hugnatan led all locals in scoring with 21, Alapag has 17, while Newsome has 16 points.

The Bolts buried 17 triples for the night, but no more important than the last big dagger of a shot from Alapag when the Bolts led by a slim 112-111 with time down to 1:09 in the last quarter. Alapag buried three threes in total to pull just three shots shy of surpassing Allan Caidic for the three-point record.

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