PBA: Prayer helps Nico Salva clinch the win for Meralco
Philip Matel on Jan 19, 2019 08:10 PM
Nico Salva this time provided the heroics for coach Norman Black's side and help obtain their first win of the season.
ANTIPOLO CITY, RIZAL -- If it were not for a simple request to the Almighty, Meralco Bolts guard Nico Salva would not have helped his team to their first win of the season.
Fresh off a career-high 22 points in a deflating 93-92 overtime loss against the Phoenix Fuel Masters last Wednesday, Salva this time provided the heroics for coach Norman Black's side and helped obtain their first win of the PBA Philippine Cup at the expense of the Blackwater Elite, 99-94.
The Ateneo alumnus was not having exactly expecting a breakout since he rode the pine the entirety of the first half, and shared that he said a little prayer in hoping that he could be fielded in by his longtime mentor.
"I was praying for an opportunity na second half mabigyan ng chance ulit at makatulong. Napaganda. Tuloy-tuloy naman. My teammates did a great job of looking for me and it also helped that I made shots and felt comfortable," the 6'4” forward shared.
In a close fourth quarter, and the game still very much in doubt, the Bolts were looking to find a hot hand, and Salva rose to the occasion.
The 28-year old took charge and scored 12 in the payoff period with an array of shots, drilling jumpers and taking advantage of the switches his opponents were making, including a high-arching lay-up that pushed the lead up to 6, 89-83, with over two minutes left.
"When we watched film, I saw that when you do that double-high screen on top, yung nagro-rotate yung big men sa corner nila. So I knew that yesterday that I had to use my speed and do something to get a shot off."
Black, who was his college coach during his five-year stint in Ateneo, praised Salva and rookie Trevis Jackson for breaking the game wide open as they held on to the win.
"There were a lot of guys that I felt really stepped up and really helped us tonight, led by Trevis Jackson who made a lot of good outside shots for us, helping us to open up their defense. Nico Salva came up with big shots in the fourth quarter that gave us an opportunity to separate there in the end game," said Black.
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