|Gabi Espinas and the rest of the|
Bolts defend the basket
(Image by the PBA/Nuki Sabio)
BOLTS 1st ELECTRIFYING WIN
In the first game of PBA double header yesterday Merlaco Bolts clinched their first win of the conference after an 18-point lost against the Tropang Texters.
Though they were undermanned, Cardona suffer from a severe sprained ankle in their first game, Sol Mercado suited up yesterday but Coach Gregorio decided to seat him down, Reynel Hugnatan and Chris Ross also nursing injuries, but they were able to grabbed their first win against the slowly clicking Shopinas.com Clickers, 79-72.
It was Asi Taulava's effort that led his team to a win. The ageless wonder Taulava scored a crucial fall away basket when the team needed it the most. He got help from his teammates Macapagal, Espinas and Isip who scored 41 combined points.
It was a surprise for the role players of Bolts to be the Star player of their team in the absence of their prized players, fortunately for Coach Ryan Gregorio, his players were ready for the challenge.
Paolo Hubalde of Shopinas.com Clickers scored a career-high 21 points but that was not enough to carry his team to their first win in the PBA.
It was a close game. Meralco thought they would have a "walk in the park" when they posted a 57-69 lead with less than 3 minutes to go but Clickers pulled out an amazing 15-4 blast, with 1:06 remaining in the ball game the lead of Bolts was cut down to just 3, 75-72.
The run of the Clickers ended with their own turnover in the crucial possession which could have cut down the lead into 1-point or even tied the game.
Bolts defense held on and survived the scary rally of the Clickers.
SCORING BY QUARTER:
9-11, 32-31, 58-52, 79-72
Coach Tim Cone got his very first win outside the premises of the Alaska against his old team, how ironic it is.
Alaska dictated most part of the first quarter, they actually held the Llamados to a single digit score with just 9 points in the first 12 minutes of the game while the Aces scored an scorching 21 points.
With a 15-point deficit Coach Tim Cone and his Llamados fought back in the 2nd quarter and made their own run to brought the lead down to just 2 points in the end of the first half, 35-37.
"Big Game" James Yap had a true Big Game with the help from Josh Urbiztondo and Kerby Raymundo.
Yap took over in the 2nd quarter and that started a huge rally for B-Meg but JR Reyes and Sonny Thoss kept Alaska Aces fighting and protecting their lead.
It was a close second half and in the crunch time, Urbiztondo scored three 3-point shots to gave B-Meg a 75-68 lead with just three minutes remaining in the game. Aces retaliated and brought the lead of Llamados to just 2, 75-77 but Alaska failed to make a crucial stop and led to a game winning basket of Raymundo, a lay up over Thoss.
Cone and his Llamados made a successful come from behind win over Alaska, 81-75.
SCORING BY QUARTER:
9-21, 35-37, 61-56, 81-75