PBA: Another rookie stars as Trevis Jackson leads Meralco past Blackwater
ANTIPOLO — Trevis Jackson came off the bench to provide a much-needed boost for Meralco en route to a 99-94 win over Blackwater Saturday in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup at Ynares Center here.
As if following the footsteps rookies Robert Bolick and CJ Perez, the surprise fifth pick of the PBA Draft scattered 19 points and a pair of assists to lead the Bolts in scoring in their first win of the conference.
“I’m very happy we’re able to bounce back in this game after suffering a very painful loss to Phoenix,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
“A lot of guys I felt really stepped up and helped us tonight led by Trevis who made a lot of good outside shots for us and helped us open up (Blackwater’s) defense,” he added.
Jackson, who played Division I basketball in the US NCAA, was also behind the triple that provided separation from the Elite, 81-78, with 5:18 left in the match.
From there, Cliff Hodge and Nico Salva continued their balanced attack to keep Meralco in front and preserve the earlier efforts from Mike Tolomia and now-healthy Ranidel de Ocampo.
Meralco’s bench outscored Blackwater’s 47-27, with six of the Bolts’ cagers providing double-digit production.
“That’s what we really envisioned going into this year when I drafted Trevis. I thought with him along with Baser (Amer) and Chris (Newsome), we’d spread the wealth and move the basketball around to get good shots and run a little bit, which we haven’t done in the past. “
Blackwater, who was also dealt with a first-game loss, drew commendable performances from its old reliables Allein Maliksi, Raymar Jose and Roi Sumang, even burying the Bolts by as much as 12 in the first half.
But with only Mac Belo and Chris Javier providing a reprieve for their starters, the Elite faltered in the second half and ran out of gas to play catch-up to drop to a 0-2 record.
“For our second game in a row, our defense is pretty solid, our only problem right now is how to shore up our rebounding because we’re getting a lot of stops but we’re giving up a lot of defensive rebounds at the same time,” Black said.
“It’s something we need to continue to work on going forward especially since we’re going up against San Miguel next game. But until we do a good job rebounding, it’s going to be difficult in this conference.”
Meralco hopes to ride the momentum when it faces the four-time conference champions at the same venue next Friday.
Blackwater, on the other hand, has Rain or Shine next on its list. They tangle on Jan. 30 at Cuneta Astrodome.
Meralco 99 – Jackson 19, Tolomia 15, Salva 14, Amer 13, Hodge 12, Hugnatan 10, Caram 7, De Ocampo 6, Newsome 3, Faundo 0, Dillinger 0, Quinto 0.
Blackwater 94 – Maliksi 17, Sumang 16, Jose 15, Belo 12, Digregorio 11, Tratter 8, Javier 8, Dario 3, Desiderio 2, Palma 2, Alolino 0.
Quarters: 16-25, 48-42, 73-64, 99-94.
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