Meralco fields NBA vet against Alaska todayBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MERALCO parades former NBA player Mario West today in a bid to arrest a three-game slump against similarly struggling Alaska in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts tangle with the Aces at 4:15 p.m. before the expected explosive clash between sister teams Ginebra and Petron at 6:30.
Listed at 6-foot-5, the 27-year-old West has solid credentials, having played 156 games for the Atlanta Hawks from 2007 to 2009 despite being not drafted. A former Georgia Tech standout, West’s most recent NBA stint came with the New Jersey Nets which signed him to a short deal near the end of last season.
A high-leaper, West replaced Champ Oguchi, who got the pink slip after the 83-88 loss to B-Meg last Wednesday where he missed all 10 attempts from beyond the arc.
With a tough stretch ahead that includes games against Petron and Ginebra, the Bolts are hard pressed to overcome the Aces.
The Boosters are actually shooting for a fourth victory and solo third against the Gin Kings, who could leapfrog past Petron Blaze with a win.
Both teams are coming off narrow losses with the Boosters bowing to the Barako Bull Energy, 98-104, last Friday.
Still, there were encouraging signs for the Boosters who shot 54 percent from the field while drawing a stellar performance from the returning Jay Washington. The Boosters also dished out 29 assists in the loss.
The Gin Kings were undone by the heroics of Rain or Shine rookie Paul Lee, whose triple with 2.6 seconds remaining lifted the Elasto Painters to a 93-90 win last Wednesday.