Taha ties career-high in Purefoods win over Meralco | Inquirer Sports

Taha ties career-high in Purefoods win over Meralco

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 08:19 PM November 23, 2014

Purefoods star big man Marc Pingris (15) posts up Meralco forward Cliff Hodge (20) during a provincial game at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna. The Hotshots won, 77-74.  PBA IMAGE/Nuki Sabio

Purefoods star big man Marc Pingris (15) posts up Meralco forward Cliff Hodge (20) during a provincial game at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna. The Hotshots won, 77-74. PBA IMAGE/Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines —Yousef Taha matched his career-high with 14 points and Purefoods Star slipped past Meralco, 77-74, in the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.

Taha shot 6-of-7 from the field and also had nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks but more importantly his high level of activity on both ends of the floor gave the Hotshots a boost down the stretch.

The 6-foot-8 Taha is playing a more significant role for Purefoods since the injury to Ian Sangalang early in the season and the energetic center is making the most out the extended minutes he’s getting.

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PJ Simon scored 18 points but picked up his fifth foul and was replaced by Taha with five minutes left. But the Hotshots didn’t sacrifice much in offense despite Simon being saddled by foul trouble with Taha providing timely baskets.

Taha banked in a jumper with the shot clock winding down that put Purefoods on top, 68-67, before driving down from the free throw line for the scoop shot and scoring on a hook shot for a 72-67 lead with 2:30 remaining. He also had a couple of defensive gems in between.

Mark Barroca posted 16 points, including a big 3-pointer over a taller defender in Jared Dillinger that should’ve been the game-clinching basket, with Purefoods extending its lead to eight, 77-69, with only 42.2 seconds left.

But the Bolts hit a couple of quick baskets — first a triple from Gary David then a layup by Dillinger — and forced crucial turnovers that cut the deficit to three, 77-74, and a chance to tie with 6.1 ticks remaining.

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Unfortunately for Meralco, Dillinger misfired on a long triple and Mark Macapagal wasn’t able to get off a shot before time ran out.

The win put the Hotshots above .500 at 4-3 since starting the conference with a 1-3 slate.

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The Bolts, sans do-it-all forward Sean Anthony, fell to 4-4. Veteran swingman Gary David led all scorers with 20 points.

Taha also had 14 points in a loss to San Miguel Beer last Oct. 26.

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TAGS: Basketball, Gary David, Ian Sangalang, Jared Dillinger, Meralco Bolts, PBA, PJ Simon, Purefoods Star Hotshots, Sean Anthony, Yousef Taha

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