03 April 2017

Bolts 92, Beermen 99

Jared Dillinger
Meralco Bolts are still cursed. This was obvious when Philippine Cup champ San Miguel Beer stopped their hot rampage, 99-92, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last 2 April.

It took a while for the Beermen to get going. But when they did, there’s no stopping them from keeping their mastery of the team they haven’t lost a game since their 2015 Governors Cup do-or-die matchup.

June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter and import Charles Rhodes all got into the groove in the second half as the Beermen once again dealt Meralco a sorry loss.

The Bolts had also been on hot runs in the last two Commissioner’s Cup before running into a wall against San Miguel.

They were 5-0 on both occasions then absorbed a first loss against the Beermen. This time, Meralco had a four-game streak snapped by SMB.

"I didn’t think we would have this start. I expected our team to struggle and we did in the first half. Pero dumating at nagamit ng mga players namin ang experience nila sa second half. They were able to handle the situation well," said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.

Rhodes didn’t score that much with only 22 points but imposed his huge presence at the paint.

"Yun naman ang gusto ko. And I think hindi pa lumalabas yung totoong laro nya. In the next few games, when he would have better feel of the game, I believe he would play better," said Austria.

Fajardo came through with a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds while Cabagnot added 23 points, including crucial three three-pointers and a jam that surprised everybody towards the end of the game.

Lassiter knocked in two treys and finished with 16 markers while Arwind Santos contributed 12 points and six rebounds.

Ronald Tubid struggled in a game cut short by a flagrant foul penalty 2 on Chris Newsome.

Behind Newsome, Alex Stepheson, Jared Dillinger and Baser Amer, the Bolts took control most of the first three quarters, leading by as many as 15 at 46-31.

The Bolts, however, couldn't keep up as the Beermen finally hit their strides.

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