Global Port rallies to notch first win vs Meralco
MANILA, Philippines — Willie Miller stepped up in the absence of Gary David to lead Global Port to a comeback win over Meralco 105-104 Wednesday night in the 38th PBA Philippine Cup at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Miller erupted for 33 points on six-of-seven shooting from downtown to go along with 11 rebounds and three assists. The veteran guard also became the 25th player in the league to score 8,000 points.
” It’s difficult to score a win in the PBA and I thought we won’t make it,” said Global head coach Glenn Capacio.
“This is a big one for the players. The team’s morale has been down. Hopefully we can sustain our play,” added Capacio, whose squad finally barged into the win column in four games.
The Batang Pier missed the services of their star swingman Gary David, who is nursing a knee injury.
Despite the loss of David, Global Port managed to mount a furious rally from 14 down, 78-92, in the fourth period.
Rookie Jason Deutchman came through with 20 points, including back-to-back treys, the last one putting Global ahead, 100-99, with 1:40 left.
“Luckily we played well in the last four minutes of the game. My players showed heart.”
The Bolts, who are coming off a two-game winning streak, were well on their way for a third straight after a strong third quarter gave them a comfortable lead in the final frame.
Sol Mercado and Ronjay Buenafe each had 30 points while Cliff Hodge continued his stellar play with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Rabeh Al-Hussaini made two free throws that put the Batang Pier ahead by three, 105-102, with 4.5 ticks left.
With no timeouts left, the Bolts only managed to draw a drive by Mercado for the final play as time ran out.
Buenafe made a triple on Meralco’s third try that pulled them to within one, 102-103, with only 5.4 seconds remaining.
Global Port also drew a good game from its other rookie Aj Mandani. Mandani completed a three-point play that gave his a 103-99 cushion with 17.0 seconds left.
Meralco dropped to 2-2.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.