Butch propels Meralco; Chan sparks ROS victory
MANILA, Philippines — Brian Butch swished a crucial three as the Meralco Bolts held off the Globalport Batang Pier, 104-99, in a highly physical encounter Saturday night for their second straight win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Cliff Hodge pulled down an offensive rebound and hit Butch for the wide-open three that broke the last deadlock at 97 with 46.4 seconds remaining.
The 6-foot-11 Butch drilled six three-pointers the entire night and eventually finished with 42 points, 24 rebounds and countless intangibles on the defensive end.
“We really braced ourselves for a lot of physicality and I thought they did a good job destroying our rhythm,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio, pointing out that the referees whistled a total of 72 fouls throughout.
Globalport blew two opportunities to level the count with successive attempts by Terrence Romeo and Alex Cabagnot way off their marks.
Trailing by as many as 15 late in the third, the Batang Pier cut it down to single digits on Romeo’s timely incursions and the unrelenting efforts of Evan Brock underneath.
The Globalport import finally forced the tie with a pair of free throws, 1:26 left.
While the Bolts improved to 2-1, the Batang Pier remained winless and dropped their fourth game in a row as they meet with three formidable teams—Barangay Ginebra, San Miguel Beer and Rain or Shine—in the next two weeks.
Jeff Chan rained threes all over the floor in a sizzling 92-78 Rain Or Shine win over Alaska in the first game.
Chan launched four of his six triples in the fourth that doused an Alaska uprising from 19 points down and rewarded the Elasto Painters their first victory of the conference.
“We played a lot better defense. Our chemistry is back, the cohesion is back. It’s just a matter of getting our focus this conference,” said Rain Or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, who lost their conference opener against Barako Bull.
RAIN OR SHINE 92—Chan 24, McLean 19, Lee 11, Almazan 9, Tiu 9, Araña 8, Rodriguez 4, Cruz 3, Belga 2, Tang 2, Norwood 1, Teng 0, Ibañes 0.
ALASKA 78—Dozier 27, Jazul 9, Thoss 8, Hontiveros 7, Casio 5, Abueva 5, Manuel 5, Dela Cruz 2.
Quarters: 18-17, 38-32, 69-58, 92-78.
MERALCO 104—Butch 42, David 16, Caram 9, Hugnatan 9, Wilson 8, Mandani 6, Hodge 6, Ildefonso 5, Guevarra 3, Al-Hussaini 0, Artadi 0.
GLOBALPORT 99—Brock 32, Romeo 21, Ponferrada 10, Salvador 6, Custodio 6, Washington 5, Macapagal 5, Salva 4, Yee 3, Cabagnot 3, Nabong 2, Garcia 2, Chua 0.
Quarters: 27-28; 56-41, 84-74, 104-99
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.