Mario West buries game winner to lift Meralco over PetronBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—Mario West watched as Alex Cabagnot swished in clutch a triple over him.
Cabagnot though left 5.7 ticks left and that was enough for West to exact revenge and lift the Bolts to a 113-112 edge over the Petron Blaze Boosters Sunday in their no-bearing and yet pulsating semifinals match in the 2012 PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
“The decision is to give it to your best player. He (West) took it upon himself to finish strong and he was rewarded,” said Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio.
West, a former swingman for the Atlanta Hawks and New Jersey Nets, unleashed 41 points on top of eight rebounds and four assists in 48 minutes.
The Bolts, who blew a double-digit lead and trailed 111-112 after Cabagnot’s trey, ended their season with back-to-back wins over fancied squads. Meralco beat B-Meg last Friday.
“The goal really was to end the season on a high note and we actually did,” said Gregorio. “It’s the end of our last season but still I think it’s a lot better from our previous one. So when you talk about progress, definitely we made a huge progress this season.”
Meralco held a 111-107 advantage on a long jumper by Sol Mercado with 42.6 left before Cabagnot single-handedly carried Petron down the stretch.
Mark Cardona added 26 points while Mercado had 19 for the Bolts.
Cabagnot led the Boosters with 29 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists.