Bolts stay sharp after burning Phoenix
Paul Lintag on May 03, 2017 09:28 PM
The Bolts now have a league-best seven wins just before they enter another break.
Does it matter if the win is ugly? Nope.
Picking up a league-best seventh victory, the Meralco Bolts proved that they can grind things out after taking care of Phoenix in a low-scoring affair, 81-66, in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup Wednesday at the Big Dome.
Coming off a 17-day break, Meralco continued its hot streak, winning a third straight game to improve to 7-1 in the mid-season joust. The Bolts also grabbed the first spot in the eight-team quarterfinals.
In an offensive struggle, Meralco only shot 43 percent from the field while Phoenix was far worse with only 32 percent success rate, the Bolts once again found some spark from its pair of super sophomores to carry the load.
Baser Amer continued his breakout performance this conference, going for 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting on top of three assists. Reigning Rookie of the Year Chris Newsome added 19 points, four rebounds, and three dimes.
Import Alex Stephenson was good for 15 points and 20 rebounds but no other Bolts cracked double figures.
"Defensively we were pretty sharp tonight and it held up for the entire game. Offensively, we have work to do," head coach Norman Black said.
"We didn't shoot the ball very well and execution wasn't very well," he added.
Playing without Matthew Wright who is already with Gilas Pilipinas, Phoenix couldn't get it going on the offensive end and suffered its fifth loss in eight games.
Import Jameel McKay got his double-double of 16 points and 16 rebounds but only Cyrus Baguio gave a decent local performance for the Fuel Masters, going for 10 points in a losing effort.
MERALCO 81 - Amer 20, Newsome 19, Stepheson 15, Grey 8, Hodge 7, Caram 4, Hugnatan 3, Nabong 2, Chua 2, Daquioag 1, Dillinger 0, Faundo 0.
PHOENIX 66 - McKay 16, Baguio 10, Jazul 7, Borboran 6, Torres 6, Dehesa 5, W. Wilson 5, Alolino 4, Kramer 3, Intal 2, J. Wilson 2, Miranda 0, Lanete 0.
Quarterscores: 13-16, 34-29, 53-46, 81-66.
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