Bolts rally from 20 down, shock NLEX | Inquirer Sports

Bolts rally from 20 down, shock NLEX

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 07:43 PM March 29, 2015

 Josh Davis of Meralco (dark) vs Jeckster APinan of NLEX (light). PBA IMAGE by Nuki Sabio

Josh Davis of Meralco (dark) vs Jeckster APinan of NLEX (light). PBA IMAGE by Nuki Sabio

MERALCO came back from 20 points down to shock NLEX, 91-85, in overtime and advance to the semifinals of the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts stared at a 64-44 deficit in the third quarter before finding their way back behind veteran guard Gary David, who scored a season-high 31 points including 14 in the fourth period.

“I thought my team played with a lot of guts in the second half,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black. “We got thoroughly outplayed in the first half by the NLEX team. They threw new wrinkles at us and we didn’t respond to them.”

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“We made some adjustments in the second half. Our defense picked up in the second half,” Black added. “I can’t really go into detail on everything that we did but we were able to clamp down on Asi for the most part and at the same time we did a much better job on Thornton once we put Josh Davis on him.”

David made five 3-pointers and his layup with 2:05 left in regulation tied the game for the final time at 82 before going into the extra session.

Josh Davis posted 25 points, 22 rebounds and two blocks while also doing a superb job at holding down NLEX import Al Thornton.

Thornton still came away with a game-high 32 points but scored just two points after the third quarter and was left with no choice but to force his shots with Meralco’s defense locked in.

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Bolts forward Cliff Hodge nailed the game-clinching jumper, 90-85, with 56.1 seconds left which was his only field goal after David made it, 88-85, on a breakaway layup.

Meralco arranged a best-of-five semis series with top seed Rain or Shine on Tuesday night also at the Big Dome.

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Earlier, defending champion Purefoods held off Alaska, 96-89. The Hotshots booked a date with No. 2 Talk ‘N Text in the other semis pairing which begins on Wednesday.

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TAGS: Meralco, News, NLEX, PBA, Sports

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