Meralco keeps lead; Ginebra tabs 1st win | Inquirer Sports

Meralco keeps lead; Ginebra tabs 1st win

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 10:41 PM February 21, 2016



FOR A team that couldn’t do right just a couple of months back, Meralco just can’t stop winning this time.

Jared Dillinger drained the go-ahead triple and keyed a 90-87 victory over hard-fighting Phoenix Petroleum Sunday night that kept the Bolts unbeaten and in the solo lead of the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum.


Barangay Ginebra, with import Othyus Jeffers bucking a sore back, notched its first win later in the night after bringing down Rain or Shine, 103-92, in the second game.


The Bolts ground out a fourth straight win on an afternoon where coach Norman Black said his players “couldn’t shoot straight.”

Dillinger bailed them out with that trey with 45.4 seconds left, completing Meralco’s rally from 12 points down in the second quarter.

Phoenix dropped its first ever game, which came on the heels of the franchise’s successful league debut. The Fuel Masters, though, had a chance to salvage this one but couldn’t put it together when they needed it.

“It’s been a very big turnaround for us from last conference,” said coach Norman Black, whose Bolts won just one game in the Philippine Cup.

The win also put the Bolts within another of equaling the franchise’s best start, which took place here last season with the left-handed Josh Davis leading them.

After tossing in just eight points against GlobalPort, the 6-foot-3 Jeffers scored 38 points and had 20 rebounds in a performance that inspired the whole Ginebra quintet in halting a two-game slide.


“That was a relief,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said. “We needed that win to gain confidence. It was like a must-win (game) for us.”

The loss was the second straight after a conference-opening win for the Elasto Painters, who broke in a new import in NBA veteran Antoine Dominick Wright, who played his first competitive game in almost nine months.

Wright, who is pinch-hitting for the injured Wayne Chism, arrived in the country at 3:30 a.m. yesterday and played through the weariness of a 13-hour flight from Las Vegas. He came off the bench to shoot 16 points and grab eight rebounds in 29 minutes.

The scores:

First Game

MERALCO 90—Onuaku 17, Newsome 16, David 13, Dillinger 10, Amer 8, Hodge 8, Bono 4, Hugnatan 4, Nabong 4, Al-Hussaini 2, Caram 2, Faundo 2.

PHOENIX 87—Garcia 15, Adeleke 13, Baracael 13, Brondial 12, Wilson 10, Urbiztondo 9, Lanete 8, Monfort 5, Intal 2, Pennisi 0.

Quarters: 19-23, 40-47, 67-67, 90-87

Second Game

GINEBRA 103—Jeffers 38, Slaughter 16, Devance 13, Aguilar 10, Ellis 7, Thompson 5, Caguioa 4, Mercado 4, Tenorio 3, Marcelo 2, Cruz 1,

RAIN OR SHINE 92—Quiñahan 21, Wright 16, Chan 13, Cruz 10, Ahanmisi 8, Belga 8, Ibanes 3, Almazan 2, Ponferrada 2, Tiu 1, Trollano 0.

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Quarters: 28-23, 53-44, 82-70, 103-92

TAGS: 2016 Commissioner's Cup, GINEBRA, Jared Dillinger, Meralco Bolts, Othyus Jeffers, PBA, Phoenix, Rain or Shine

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