Meralco’s Wilson scores like it’s the NCAA in Bolts win over Express
MANILA, Philippines — John Wilson turned back the hands of time Wednesday night as he showed flashes of his old prolific scoring form.
Channeling his NCAA days, the former Jose Rizal University hotshot knocked in 26 points and set a career-high in the PBA to lead Meralco’s 112-79 rout of the skidding Air21.
“I’ve been on his face the past few days. I’ve been telling him he must be the guy who steps forward for the team and he more than heeded the call,” said head coach Ryan Gregorio.
And the 26-year-old Wilson went perfect from three-point distance, hitting all six of his attempts while coming off-the-bench in just 26 minutes of action.
Only five people have managed to achieve that feat over the years, and three of them are active players. These are Simon Atkins, Ren-ren Ritualo and Dondon Hontiveros. The other two were former basketball veterans Vic Pablo and Glen Capacio.
It didn’t seem like Wilson was headed for a flawless outside game, when he only had two seconds to uncork a triple from top-of-the-key.
But he still swished that in, and it marked the start of a hot shooting night along with the Bolts’ romp for an opening win in the PBA Philippine Cup.
“There was two seconds left, I saw a good shot and I took it,” said the MVP of the 2009 NCAA of his first triple. “I guess that’s when I got my confidence for this game.”
Wilson, who once had 48 points in the NCAA, attributed his sterling game to good shot selection, but it wasn’t the case when he connected on two off-balanced, heavily contested triples to cap the night.
But apart from his hot hand, it was Wilson’s defense which also impressed Gregorio.
“It isn’t just the offense that can keep you in the game, it’s also your defensive effort,” Gregorio said. “It was a nice win for us, and a monster peformance for him, but we’re not going to stop here.”
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