Fastbreak: 'Sol Train' runs over Meralco, Lee-thal weapon fires 26

The Best: The Batang Pier haven't been leaning on their two veteran stars, Sol Mercado and Jay Washington, of late, but both guys really stepped up1, helping GlobalPort deal the Meralco Bolts their first loss since November 22. The Sol Train shot 8/13 from the 2-point area to underscore his 33-point explosion. He also added 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal to pad his impressive stat-line. His buddy, J-Wash, also did really well, filling up the sheet with 27 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal.

The Worst: Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio hoped he could rely on his team's outside shooting in the endgame, but he sacrificed a lot of ceilin. In the end, the Bolts just couldn't hold the fort against the bigger Batang Pier. GlobalPort outrebounded Meralco, 52-37, and limited big men Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Don Allado to a combined 14 points and 11 rebounds. Meralco also didn't help itself by letting GlobalPort score 20 points-off-turnovers and 16 fastbreak points.

Offense is NOT the best Defense: The Bolts outshot the Batang Pier. Meralco made 45% of its threes compared to just 33% for GlobalPort, while coach Ryan Gregorio's wards shot 44% overall from the field. In contrast, coach Richie Ticzon's boys connected on just 41%. Despite this, Meralco ended up losing because they sacrificed too much size in the endgame. Wingman Jared Dillinger played center in the closing minutes. The ploy just didn't pay off.

The Best: The Lee-thal weapon was the big story here. Paul Lee finally broke out of a slump, canning 5 triples on his way to a season-high 26 points. Lee made more triples in this game than he had in his first four games combined. Prior to this match, the former UE Red Warrior was shooting a paltry 22% from long range and 32% overall. Against the Mixers, however, Lee shot 10/15 from the field while also adding 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal. Despite the influx of new talent in the Painters' roster, this is the kind of production coach Yeng Guiao wants from one of his top guard.

The Worst: San Mig Super Coffee ended up with more rebounds, more assists, and fewer turnovers than ROS, but they just couldn't complete their endgame rally because of some key missed shots. In one critical sequence, Mark Barroca had an open lane to the basket, but the overachieving playmaker muffed a high arcing lay-up that would've tied the game. In all, the Mixers shot just 32% from the floor, which negated their +10 FG attempts and their much better FT shooting (76% as opposed to ROS's 53%).

Spread the Wealth: Coach Yeng was struggling to look for a consistent combination of players throughout this game, playing 14 men. The good thing about this? All 14 guys scored. Everyone from Jeff Chan down to Jireh Ibañes scored at least 2 points, and that's pretty significant in a game decided by just 3 points. -