Bolts gain share of first after pushing Alaska to brink of elimination
Paul Lintag on Sep 15, 2017 06:40 PM
The Bolts moved to 7-2, tied for first place with defending champion Ginebra. It was the team's first win since acquiring six-time champion Ranidel De Ocampo from sister team TNT.
After a record 14-game losing skid that spanned two PBA conferences, Alaska was hard-pressed to make it to the playoffs of the 2017 Governors' Cup.
Still, after a recent three-game revival, the Aces looked like they could manage to crash the playoff party. Well, their chances just took a major hit again.
Meralco delivered a big blow to whatever slim playoff chances Alaska has in the season-ending joust after the Bolts scored a dominant 106-78 win Friday at the Big Dome.
The Meralco win put Alaska to 3-7 for the conference, barely holdin on for dear life in the current PBA season.
The Bolts, meanwhile, moved to 7-2, tied for first place with defending champion Ginebra. It was the team's first win since acquiring six-time champion Ranidel De Ocampo from sister team TNT.
"It's been an interesting week, picking up Ranidel in the middle of the week and having to try to teach him the system in three days. I thought he did a pretty good job today blending in with the team," head coach Norman Black said.
"About the game itself, just a good all around effort for the entire team," he added.
Behind the career outing of rookie Mike Tolomia, who the Bolts also traded for earlier this conference, Meralco surged ahead in the first half and took the fight out of Alaska early.
Tolomia lead a big run in the second quarter where Meralco outscored Alaska, 30-13, to take a 23-point lead at the break. The former FEU Tamaraw scored 11 of his 24 points in the period and was a perfect 5-of-5 from beyond the arc in the first half.
He finished 6-of-6 from deep and was 8-of-9 overall.
Aside from Tolomia, import Allen Durham also had a big game, finishing with 26 points, 18 rebounds, and six assists to lead the Bolts. De Ocampo droppe 10 off the bench in his Meralco debut.
Falling behind early, Alaska tried to mount a comeback in the third period, coming to within 10 points before Meralco quickly restored order just before the fourth quarter. Things fully fell apart for the Aces in the final period as the Bolts ended up leading by as many as 31 points.
Buck Henton led the way for Alaska with 23 points while JVee Casio was good for 18. The Aces will now have to rely on other teams losing to have a chance to sneaking into the postseason.
MERALCO 106 - Durham 26, Tolomia 24, Amer 17, Newsome 10, De Ocampo 10, Hodge 8, Lanete 5, Nabong 3, Caram 2, Atkins 0, Yeo 0, Sedurifa 0, Hugnatan 0, Faundo 0.
ALASKA 78 - Henton 23, Casio 18, Manuel 10, Abueva 8, Racal 8, Enciso 3, Banchero 3, Exciminiano 2, Pascual 2, Mendoza 1, Thoss 0, Baclao 0, Galliguez 0.
Quarters: 28-22, 58-35, 78-59, 106-78.
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