PBA Fastbreak: Bolts, Aces edge Painters, Mixers in QFs
The Best: It looks like the Bolts are primed to transform from a middling club to a primetime squad. Import Darnell Jackson came through with two key jumpers in the endgame while Cliff Hodge stepped up with a critical defensive stop as Meralco won Game 1 against the third-seeded Elasto-Painters. Coach Ryan Gregorio’s wards can eliminate Rain or Shine and move to the semifinals with another win on Wednesday. Jackson totalled 30 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal to lead the Bolts.
The Worst: The Painters were in a good position to take this, but their shots just didn’t fall in the dying seconds. Jeff Chan bricked in the waning moments, while Paul Lee got blocked as ROS saw themselves get pushed to the brink of elimination. Compounding their woes was their bad free throw shooting. The Painters shot just 13/21 from the line, with big men Wayne Chism and Raymond Almazan accounting for 7 of those misses.
Pakitang Gilas: Gilas Pilipinas pool stalwarts Gary David and Jared Dillinger unloaded big games. El Granada hit 4 triples on his way to a conference-high 27 points. He also added 4 assists and 3 rebounds. Dillinger also contributed heavily. The Fil-Am shot 7/12 form the field to score 15 markers on top of 3 boards and 3 dimes. He has been on a tear lately, having scored double-figures in his last six games. If the Bolts want to close out the Painters on Wednesday, then Dillinger must maintain this level of productivity.
The Best: I love how Rob Dozier continues to flash fine form for the Aces. The reigning Best Import unloaded 24 points and 15 rebounds against the Mixers, putting Alaska in a great position to finish off this series on Wednesday and advance to the semifinals. Dozier shot 8/15 from the floor, including 2 treys. He also added a pair of steals and 3 huge blocks to underscore his sterling effort.
The Worst: In contrast, SMC import James Mays struggled, making just 6 of his 14 field goal attempts for a final tally of 18 points. He did get 11 boards, but this was offset by his missing 5 of 11 attempts from the free throw line. After missing the Mixers’ previous game against the Aces two nights ago, Mays was expected to be fresh in this encounter, but, instead, he left SMC fans wanting. The power forward duo of Marc Pingris and Ian Sangalang also struggled, combining to shoot 2/10 from the field for a total of only 4 markers.
Beasting and feasting: Cyrus Baguio, Calvin Abueva, and Sonny Thoss have all been inconsistent this conference, but all three came through for coach Luigi Trillo in this match. Baguio nailed 3 treys on his way to 14 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal, while Thoss shot 6/8 from the field to finish with a dozen markers, 5 boards, and a blocked shot. For his part, Calvin “The Beast” Abueva had a rare good game, scoring 12 points while also hauling down 8 rebounds, handing out two dimes, blocking two shots, and getting one steal. – Rappler.com