Bolts Winning Streak now at 3
|Durham took advantage of an import-less Globalport team (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
A win would mean many things for Coach Norman Black and the Meralco Bolts and one of those things is that they can snatch away the Number 1 spot from the league-leading Ginebra should the Gin Kings drop their game tomorrow and should the Bolts win on Sunday against San Miguel.
On the other hand, a win by a Globalport Batang Pier team who is playing without their replacement import, Jamal Thomas, whom according to the PBA Commissioner’s Office, has violated the height restriction and, their superstar Terrence Romeo would allow the Batang Pier to end the season on a high note.
The first half between the Bolts and the Batang Pier was a roller coaster ride for both teams as the Bolts took an early lead until the Batang Pier, led by a rejuvenated Mac Cardona with 11 points in the first half alone, took the lead midway through the second quarter only to watch the Bolts regained control under the leadership of Chris Newsome and Allen Durham. To give credit to the Batang Pier, they shot a lot better during the early stages of the game, making 50% of their shot attempts including 62% from beyond rainbow country.
But the Bolts knew that the Batang Pier cannot survive playing without their Romeo who is averaging 18 points per game this conference and defending Durham without an import of their own. Come the 3rd quarter, the Bolts came in pouring in the points and pounding the paint area with Durham scoring on a wide variety of ways whether it’s lay-up or a putback knowing that there was no one big enough to bother him.
However, Globalport started chipping on the Bolts’ lead and brought it down to 16, at 91-75 with 5:56 to play in the 4th quarter which forced Norman Black to call a timeout because his team was shooting bricks during the Batang Pier’s 9-1 run before the said timeout. The lead even down to 14, at 91-77 with under 5 minutes to go but a lay-up by Mike Tolomia allowed the Bolts to regain some sense of control, forcing Assistant Coach Eric Gonzales to call a timeout of his own for Globalport.
A Newsome trey later brought up the lead up to 19. But Globalport refused to give up as they even got the lead down to 11, at 96-85 with under 2 minutes to go only to see Cliff Hodge bring that lead up to 13 on an alley-oop lay-up. Globalport got as close as 7 points, at 100-93 but they were already out of time as the Bolts just dribbled away the clock.
Newsome led the way for the Bolts with 28 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Durham finished with another monstrous performance, scoring 22 points, grabbing 22 rebounds to go along with his 10 assists. Veteran big man Reynel Hugnatan added 13 points off the bench. Meanwhile, Sean Anthony led the Batang Pier with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Jonathan Grey played one of his best games in his career, finishing with 16 points while Stanley Pringle had 14 points. Rebounding is one of the major keys for the Bolts as they successfully outrebounded Globalport, 55-38.
Newsome 28, Durham 22, Hugnatan 13, Hodge 10, Amer 9, De Ocampo 6, Tolomia 4, Dillinger 3, Lanete 3, Sedurifa 2, Atkins 0, Yeo 0, Caram 0, Nabong 0, Faundo 0
Anthony 23, Grey 16, Pringle 14, Guinto 14, Cardona 11, Baracael 5, Cortez 4, Mamaril 4, Arana 2, Hubalde 0, Romeo 0, Celiz 0, Paredes 0, Thomas 0
25-20,51-42, 83-64, 100-93