Wilkerson’s touch of class | Inquirer Sports
Wild Card

Wilkerson’s touch of class

THE SCORE was 4-3 for Meralco when San Miguel Beer import Tyler Wilkerson picked up his third foul just 2 minutes and 33 seconds into the game. With the classy, high-scoring Wilkerson forced to sit it out, it seemed the way was clear for the frontrunning Bolts to pick up a sixth straight victory in the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup last Saturday at Ibalong Centrum for Recreation in Legaspi City.

But the Beermen, working behind the core of the all-Filipino squad that recently captured the Philippine Cup with a historic four-game sweep of Alaska from 0-3 in the title playoffs, more than held their own against the Bolts before Wilkerson returned in the second half to spark SMB’s third straight win and tie the Aces for second at 3-1.

The holder of the season-high 52 points among imports so far, Wilkerson finished with 27 this time, 23 of them in the final half as SMB prevailed, 94-86. Tyler hit a long three at the final buzzer as the Beermen repeated their conquest of the Bolts in this same tournament last year in Cagayan de Oro with the Bolts likewise going into the game with a 5-0 record.

Meralco, which kept the overall lead, drew a monster performance of 28 points and 30 rebounds from Arinze Onuaku but there was one drawback—he missed 7 of 9 free throws. All told, the Bolts made just 6 of 17 charities while SMB hit 27 of 40 from the stripe.

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Out of the limelight after the Growling Tigers blew their title bid against the Far Eastern University Tamaraws in the centerpiece event of men’s basketball in Season 78 of the UAAP, University of Santo Tomas exploded back to prominence again on two fronts last week, courtesy of its female athletes.

The UST softbelles notched the more memorable achievement when they ended the 73-game win run by the Adamson Lady Falcons with a 6-2 triumph at Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

Both UST and Adamson are expected to meet for the crown with both teams highly favored in the Final Four.

The Golden Tigresses also delivered with a mighty 25-21, 25-22, 25-21 conquest of the La Salle Lady Spikers, who had earlier conquered arch rival and defending champion Ateneo in three sets.

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TAGS: Basketball, Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup, PBA

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