THE MERALCO Bolts erased the stigma of a bitter defeat in their last outing as they took down the sputtering Globalport Batang Pier, 101-92, last night in the 38th PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts snapped a two-game slide, tallying their sixth in 11 games to bolster their playoffs bid. The win also allowed Meralco to redeem itself from a heart-breaking 98-102 overtime loss to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters last Wednesday, where they squandered a big 26-point third-quarter lead.
Macmac Cardona led the way for the Bolts with 26 points. Sol Mercado was equally effective with his 24 markers, while rookie Kelly Nabong fired a career-high 18 points and hauled down 11 boards to walk away with the Best Player of the Game honors.
The Bolts displayed the needed endgame poise that they didn’t show in their sorry loss to the Painters, coming up with a solid fourth quarter show to thwart the rallying Batang Pier.
Meralco took a 78-71 lead early in the fourth period but allowed Globalport to get back into the game and saw its lead cut down to just a point, 79-80.
Globalport eventually tied the count at 83-all but Ronjay Buenafe hit a triple that triggered a 10-0 run that enabled Meralco to erect a 93-83 lead with 1:59 left.
Gary David topped Globalport with a game-high 33 points, 25 coming from the first half.
After shooting 7-for-13 in the first two quarters, David went just 3-for-9 in the final half as he failed to save Batang Pier from absorbing its seventh straight defeat and tenth overall to remain at the bottom of the standings with a woeful 1-10 (win-loss) card.
MERALCO (101)- Cardona 26, Mercado 24, Nabong 18, Buenafe 14, Hugnatan 10, Hodge 2, Ross 2, Borboran 2, Salvacion 2, Reyes 1, Artadi 0.
GLOBALPORT (92) – David 33, Guevarra 20, Manuel 15, Miller 7, Al-Hussaini 5, Mandani 4, Deutchman 3, Vanlandingham 3, Salvador 2, Lingganay 0, Yee 0, Vergara 0, Adducul 0. /Editorial assistant Calvin Cordova