DESPERATE times call for desperate measures.
Meralco showed its survival skills as it staved off elimination, upsetting Rain or Shine, 82-72, in a dominant win to snap its six-game losing streak and stayed alive in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup last night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Three starters led the charge for the Bolts, with Chris Newsome grabbing a game-high 19 points, four rebounds and six assists, while Cliff Hodge had a monster double-double of 17 points and 16 rebounds and Jonathan Uyloan also had a splendid game of 14 points, six rebounds and five assists.
By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THEIR CHANCES of advancing to the next round of the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup may be hanging in the balance with one game left in their schedule but the Meralco Bolts are not losing hope and instead vowed to continue fighting and make the most of the opportunity given to them.
BEFORE yet another lengthy break, the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup hosts two critical games expected to affect the wild race to the quarterfinals.
Already through to the next round, league-leading Meralco (7-1) now looks at improving its chances of finishing in the top two as it plays unpredictable GlobalPort (2-6) at 4:15 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Fuel Masters will face an improved Bolts roster that added vastly-improved playmaker Nard Pinto in a trade with Blackwater, backup slotman Gabby Espinas, and rookies Trevis Jackson and Bong Quinto.
Cliff Hodge, Ranidel De Ocampo, and Jared Dillinger, Meralco's veteran core, are now healthy and eager to get started with the new arrivals.
The Meralco Bolts ratcheted up their defensive intensity in crunch time to keep their 3rd winning streak intact against a Rain or shine team that is at the same stage of its development curve.
SOLO leadership will be up for grabs as co-league leaders Rain or Shine and Meralco dispute first place in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
Both enjoying early success, the Elasto Painters and the Bolts, both sitting at the top with 3-0 starts, go there separate ways when they meet at 7 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Barangay Ginebra had its never-say-die spirit in full display Wednesday night, as it survived the gritty Magnolia Hotshots in Game 3, 107-103, in the semifinals of the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
THE rampage continues.
League-leading San Miguel cruised to yet another victory, annihilating Mahindra, 109-80, this time around to stretch its winning run to four and remain unscathed in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City last night.
IN a bid to change its recent mediocre fortunes in the Philippine Basketball Association, Rain or Shine made waves yesterday.
After a longtime partnership, the Elasto Painters surprisingly traded veteran gunner Jeff Chan to go in a new direction.
Rain or Shine shipped Chan, one of its main players in its two league championships, to Phoenix in exchange for forward Mark Borboran and a second-round pick in the coming draft Monday afternoon.
THE San Miguel Beermen get to parade their version of the twin towers while the NLEX Road Warriors were able to pluck arguably the best homegrown talent there is in a while. This, after the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) held its annual rookie draft yesterday.
Held at the Robinsons Place Manila, San Miguel and NLEX, which selected first and second, respectively, as expected chose Christian Standhardinger and Kiefer Ravena in the first two picks.
Fresh from a run in the finals of the Governor’s Cup last year, the disappointment of the recent Philippine Cup campaign came as quite a surprise for many. But while the recent struggles have cast a shadow on last season’s breakthrough, co-captain Cliff Hodge is confident that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Selected fourth overall in the 2012 draft, the do-it-all forward is one of a few with the unique perspective of seeing exactly how the franchise has evolved over the years.
Moving up to 4-0 in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup might have come with a cost for Meralco.
Cliff Hodge suffered an apparent calf injury late in the Bolts’ 89-83 victory over Rain or Shine on Wednesday, and coach Norman Black is wishing that the injury won’t be anything grave.
WHILE much attention is being channelled to his rookie teammate and top pick CJ Perez in the run-up to Season 44 of the Philippine Basketball Association, incoming freshman JP Calvo is going about his business as he tries to find his place under the PBA sun and prove he belongs to play with the big boys.
THE best-of-seven Philippine Basketball Association Governors Cup finals series hits Game Six today with one team going for the jugular and another out to stay alive and force a rubber match.
Jericho Cruz earned his first Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award following his heads-up play in Rain or Shine’s come-from-behind 118-112 win over Barangay Ginebra last week.
Cruz fired 11 of his 19 points in the final period in a dominant offensive display to underscore his status as one of the league’s fastest rising gunners.
Ed Daquioag may have been starstruck by Jayson Castro at first, but it didn’t stop him from performing at his best. The rookie went on another tear, finishing with 23 points and four rebounds in Meralco’s 98-87 win over TNT on Friday.
More notably, the Santo Tomas star bucked his nerves and even nailed a three right in front of Castro in the final minute to seal the win — the Bolts’ second in three outings.
EXPECT the upcoming 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Draft to be deep and full of talent.
Most of the country’s top amateur stars have already declared for the pros, making the draft an interesting event.
A month after Filipino-German national player Christian Standhardinger applied for the draft, other top amateur prospects followed suit right away.
IN desperation mode, GlobalPort showed urgency, easily demolishing woeful Mahindra, 105-86, to notch a much-needed win in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
JOE Devance doesn’t mind playing through lots of pain, especially in the finals of the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.
In pain for already more than three weeks and counting, Devance just refuses to be on the sidelines knowing Barangay Ginebra continues to need him the most in its war against San Miguel.
The 2018 PBA All-Star week is going to be an entirely different experience for Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga.
The burly center will be among the 12 participants seeing action in the Obstacle Challenge side event of the meet, which goes novelty this season by featuring some of the league’s big men racing against time while showing their dribbling, passing, and shooting skills.
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