Another rookie, another big game
ANTIPOLO CITY—Trevis Jackson hardly needed to look for motivation as his Meralco Bolts took the floor against the Blackwater Elite Saturday at Ynares Center here.
His fellow rookies, Robert Bolick of NorthPort and CJ Perez of Columbian, provided that for him when they came up with 26 points each in their debuts—both victories.
“Those are awesome guys,” Jackson said. “I watched their games and I was excited. I feel like that excitement transferred over to me [and] I just told myself, ‘you gotta do it, you gotta give people something.’”
He did just that.
Jackson came off the bench to provide a much-needed boost for Meralco in a 99-94 victory over Blackwater that allowed the Bolts to even their record after an opening-day loss to Phoenix.
The surprise fifth pick of the PBA Draft, Jackson scattered 19 points and a pair of assists to lead the Bolts.
“I’m very happy we were 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, knocked in the triple that gave the Bolts the lead for good, 81-78, 5:18 left in the match.
Cliff Hodge and Nico Salva then kept Meralco in front to preserve the early efforts of Mike Tolomia and Ranidel de Ocampo.
Meralco got huge production from its bench, which outscored Blackwater’s reserves, 47-27, with six Bolts providing double-digit production.
“That’s what we really envisioned going into this year when I drafted Trevis,” said Black. “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 managed to dump Meralco in a 12-point hole in the first half, but could not sustain that performance and dropped s second straight game.
In the nightcap, Matthew Wright fired 23 points and had a key tip-in as Phoenix outlasted TNT in overtime, 93-84.
Wright’s rescue of a missed Calvin Abueva drive helped the Fuel Masters zoom to the early lead with a 2-0 record while dropping the KaTropa to 0-2.
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