David, Meralco bounce back with win over NLEX
MANILA, Philippines – The Meralco Bolts were on the right side of a lopsided game when they overcame the comeback attempt of the NLEX Road Warriors 90-75.
The Bolts bounced-back from a 41-point beating against the Alaska Aces and improved to 3-1 in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday, November 5 at the Araneta Coliseum.
Gilas guard Gary "El Granada" David finally exploded for the Bolts finishing with a team-best 23 points on 9/19 field goal shooting to go along with 3 rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
It's the best game so far for David who, for the first time, breaks through double-digit scoring. He scored 4, 7, and 6 points in their first 3 games.
Bolts Head coach Norman Black, who also drew good games from Jared Dillinger and Reynel Hugnatan, lauded the effort displayed by his more senior players.
Dillinger helped in the scoring department tallying 17 points with 5 rebounds, while Hugnatan hauled down 10 boards, scored 7 points, and dished out two assists.
"My veterans really stepped up. They played a big game for us."
Black and the rest of the Bolts were eager to move on from their loss against the Aces.
"I really cant explain to you why we lost the way we lost last game other than Alaska played really well. We tried to stay as positive as we could the last few days," said Black.
Meralco got off to an electrifying start outscoring sister team NLEX, 25-11 in the opening period.
David sizzled early on scoring 7 points on 3/5 shooting from the fields already topping his performance in their previous game where he only registered 4 markers.
NLEX continued to struggle with their shots in the second quarter and ended the first half still down by a double digit margin, 52-29.
A Mark Macapagal triple in the third period gave Meralco its largest lead of the game at 30, 69-39. But the Road Warriors would fight back.
Rookie Juneric Balloria would hit one tough basket after another to help NLEX go on a 12-2 run to end the third quarter down by 20, 71-51.
The Road Warriors continued to rally in the final quarter led by old reliables Asi Taulava and Macmac Cardona. The Ageless Asi led NLEX with 24 points and 12 rebounds with 1 block. Cardona added 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals.
But Cardona forced the issue far too many times during the game and turned the ball over 6 times.
Meralco remains in the upper half of the team standings but the battle-tested Black knows the conference is just beginning and there's more work to be done.
"It's gonna be hard work and dedication throughout the conference for us to have any success this time around."
MERALCO (90) - David 23, Dillinger 17, Cortez 10, Caram 9, Anthony 7, Hugnatan 7, Macapagal 5, Hodge 4, Buenafe 4, Sena 4, Ferriols 0, Ildefonso 0, Guevarra 0, Atkins 0.
NLEX (75) - Taulava 24, Cardona 14, Baloria 14, Canaleta 9, Ramos 6, Villanueva E. 3, Apinan 3, Camson 2, Raymundo 0, Villanueva J. 0, Borboran 0, Arboleda W. 0, Arboleda H. 0, Poligrates 0.
Quarterscores: 25-11, 52-29, 71-51, 90-75
Here are some photos of the game taken by Nuki Sabio/PBA Images