Fastbreak: Meralco escapes; San Mig stops Alaska

Enzo Flojo
Chris Ross shone bright in the clutch as Meralco escaped Air21 while San Mig Coffee ended Alaska's winning streak with a resounding win of their own.

Eric Dawson came through for Meralco again as the Bolts escaped Air21. Photo by Nuki Sabio/PBA Images

2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Meralco Bolts (89) – (88) Air21 Express

The Best: Chris Ross came up big when it counted the most. The former second-fiddle playmaker got some big stops down the stretch and hit the marginal free throws as Meralco completed yet another narrow escape. Import Eric Dawson also showed up, tossing in 35 points, grabbing 17 rebounds, and netting 3 steals for the Bolts, who are now at fourth place with a 3-3 slate.

The Worst: The Express wasted their scintillating fourth quarter rally, not to mention Michael Dunigan’s 40-point explosion, by dropping the ball in the endgame. Dunigan’s errant pass led to Ross’s free throws, while Mike Cortez’s final turnover sealed the ignominious fate for Air21.

So Sunday came on Wednesday, too: Sunday Salvacion what are you eating? The virtually forgotten sniper had his second straight impressive game, scoring 18 points — all on three-pointers — to backstop Dawson’s heroics. He hit 6 of his 9 attempts from rainbow country, which means he leads the league with 6 treys per game and he’s currently shooting at an unbelievable EIGHTY-SIX PERCENT clip. Are you serious, Sunday? Again, what in tarnation are you eating?!


San Mig Coffee Mixers (75) – (68) Alaska Aces

The Best: Five guys in double-figures for coach Tim Cone and the SMC Mixers — Denzel Bowles with 16, James Yap with 11, and 10 each for Mark Barroca, Joe Devance and PJ Simon. For the third game running, the Mixers have shown the kind of offensive balance that made them such an indomitable force in last season’s Commish Cup. The result? They’re now tied with Meralco and Barako at fourth spot with 3 wins and 3 losses each.

The Worst: Alaska’s vaunted pair of wingmen, Cyrus Baguio and Calvin Abueva, sputtered in this match-up. The usually dynamic duo combined for just 3-of-17 FG shooting to finish with 13 total points. Abueva actually missed ALL his field goals. They also turned the ball over a combined 6 times. To compound things even more, import Robert Dozier had maybe his worst game yet, shooting a miserable 7-of-18 from the floor.

Are the defending champs really back?: Let’s see. Bowles seemed to have settled into a groove. The aforementioned offensive balance is there. The defense has held up. Yep, I guess we can say this is the B-Meg of old again. Good news for coach Cone, but bad news for everyone else. –

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