PBA Fastbreak: Chan, Butch catch fire to lead ROS, Meralco
The Best: Jeff Chan’s offensive game went from night to day as he scored all 24 of his points in the second half after laying a big fat egg in the first two periods. Chan hit 6 threes in all, including 4 in the final canto that sparked the game-clinching run and put the outcome beyond doubt. The Gilas Pilipinas sniper shot 8/13 overall from the floor, spacing the Alaska defense with his accurate shooting. Aside from connecting on most of his field goals, the former FEU standout also handed out 2 assists and got 1 steal.
The Worst: Reigning Best Import Rob Dozier continued his strong play for the Aces, but his effort was all for naught as nobody else broke the double-digit barrier. RJ Jazul and Sonny Thoss came the closes with 9 and 8 markers respectively, but usual reliables like JV Casio, Calvin Abueva, and Gabby Espinas bled for their points. In all, coach Luigi Trillo’s locals shot just 17/61 (28%) from the floor, further fueling the notion that they’re just not ready to defend the title they won last year in dramatic fashion.
Alex Ain’t Leaving Yet: ROS import Alex McLean didn’t exactly have the most impressive debut in the Painters’ first loss of the conference, but he made up for it with a sold double-double here. McLean continues to struggle from the field, shooting just 7/25 field goals, but he did clean the glass with 18 boards and was great on D with 1 steal and 2 blocks. He still doesn’t seem to be the potentially dominant reinforcement who can take over a game, but he does fit in nicely with ROS’s small-ball, run-and-gun style.
The Best: As if the Bolts didn’t have enough shooters already, it looks like Brian Butch just added another consistent perimeter threat to the Meralco’s deadly array of weapons. The 6-foot-11 former Team USA player (he played for Team USA in the 2011 Pan-Am Games) connected on 6 of his 11 three-point attempts, 6 of his 10 two-point field goals, and 12 of his 15 free throws to finish with a game-high 42 markers. He was clutch, too, hitting many important buckets in the second half that stymied repeated runs by the stubborn Batang Pier. Butch also hauled down 24 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal.
The Worst: On the other end, the duo of Evan Brock and Terrence Romeo kept things interesting for the winless GlobalPort franchise. Brock was splendid offensively, hitting 11 of his 17 FG attempts to finish with 32 markers, but he just couldn’t contain Butch’s hot hand from long range. The former ABL import also collared 23 boards and handed out 3 assists. Romeo, for his part, finished with 21 points, shooting 7/17 from the field. He also did well with 4 rebounds and 6 dimes, but this was offset by his committing 6 personal fouls. GlobalPort actually won the battle of the boards and shot better overall, but they just couldn’t come up with the clutch plays that could have given them their first win of the conference.
Guard Duty: Aside from Butch, Meralco also enjoyed great production from its guard corps, what with Gary David, Anjo Caram, and John Wilson all stepping up to combine for 33 points. David hit 2 triples in this game on his way to 16 markers, while Caram and Wilson backstopped him with 9 and 8 points respectively. Even substitute playmaker AJ Mandani did well, scoring 6 points in just 11 minutes of play for coach Ryan Gregorio’s crew. Meralco now finds itself in a tie for second place in the standings with 2 wins against 1 defeat. - Rappler.com