Meralco turns off the lights in Yap’s milestone night
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 29, 2017 07:49 PM
James Yap finally broke through into the elite 10, 000-point club on Saturday in Antipolo’s Ynares Arena.
At the end of the day, however, it wasn’t he and his team who had reason to celebrate.
Behind the all-around brilliance of Allen Durham, Meralco electrocuted Rain or Shine, 89-73, and vaulted into joint first in the 2017 PBA Governor’s Cup.
Elasto Painter Yap became only the 15th player to score at least 10, 000 points late in the third period.
That was the last time he and his team had a smile on their faces, however, as it was also at that point that the Bolts took the game as their own.
Meralco was actually trailing by as much as 13 in the opening salvo until it overcame a sluggish start and erupted for no less than 21 points in the second to fourth quarters.
Still, Rain or Shine clung to a two-point lead late in the third before six different Bolts got together in a vicious 17-3 onslaught that suddenly put them ahead, 73-61.
The Elasto Painters would not be able to come any closer.
Durham wound up with 23 points, 23 rebounds, eight assists, and four blocks to power Meralco onto a 3-0 standing.
Jared Dillinger and Reynel Hugnatan chipped in 16 and 14 points, respectively, to help their team move onto a tie for the league-lead with NLEX.
For Rain or Shine, American James Weatherspoon posted a 19-point, 13-rebound double-double which still fell short in preventing their fall to 1-2.
In the day’s other game, San Miguel began its bid for a Grand Slam on a high note by crushing Blackwater, 118-93.
American Wendell McKines and Marcio Lassiter scored 19 points each to lead a total of five players in double-digits in the Beermen’s strong start to the tournament.
Already champions in the Philippine and Commissioner’s Cups, the league’s winningest franchise now has its sights set on the Governor’s Cup title. If things go their way, it would mark only the sixth time in history that one team won all three conferences.
On the other hand, the Elite suffered back-to-back losses to open their campaign despite the best efforts of JP Erram who posted a 14-point, 15-rebound double-double and Mike Digregorio who scored 18 points.
SAN MIGUEL 118 - McKines 19, Lassiter 19, Fajardo 18, Espinas 16, Santos 12, Cabagnot 8, Heruela 7, McCarthy 5, Rosser 4, Tubid 3, Pessumal 2, Agovida 2, De Ocampo 2, Reyes 1, Ross 0, Semerad 0.
BLACKWATER 93 - Digregorio 18, Sumang 14, Erram 14, Belo 13, Gamalinda 11, Sena 6, Pascual 4, Cervantes 4, Banal 4, Canaleta 3, Cruz 2, Simpson 0, Miranda 0, Aguilar 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 27-19, 59-36, 94-57, 118-93.
MERALCO 89 - Durham 23, Dillinger 16, Hugnatan 14, Newsome 11, Amer 7, Lanete 6, NAbong 6, Hodge 4, Caram 2, Daquioag 0, Atkins 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 73 - Weatherspoon 19, Ahanmisi 11, Belga 10, Norwood 9, Almazan 8, Yap 7, Chan 6, Cruz 2, Tiu 1, Tolomia 0, Ponferada 0, Trollano 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 14-23, 37-44, 68-61, 89-73