|Meralco's Asi Taulava works his way to the basket while fighting it out with the Powerade Tigers on Friday's curtain raiser in the PBA Commissioner's Cup. The Bolts advanced to the quarterfinals by beating the Tigers, 102-98. Photo by Mark John Villanueva for ABS-CBNnews.com
B-Meg faces Meralco in quarterfinals
MANILA, Philippines – Niño Canaleta stepped up big time to pull Barangay Ginebra toward the semifinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup with their 93-84 drubbing of B-Meg Derby Ace on Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Canaleta came off the bench and fired 25 points in the pivotal fourth period to help the Gin Kings get past the Llamados.
He shot 8-out-of-13 from the field and grabbed 4 rebounds to fill in the spot left by Mark Caguioa, who failed to finish the game due to a nasty cut over his right eye.
Canaleta, who was rarely given long minutes of play, said he is thankful that he didn’t have trouble immediately getting into the groove.
“Buhos kaso ako ng time sa praktis. Minsan sa team mates ko one-on-one kami... nagwa-one-one-one kami sa praktis para 'di mawala ang timing namin,” said the 6’5” swingman.
Canaleta received support from import Jackson Vroman and Mike Cortez, who tallied 15 points apiece.
Dylan Ababou chipped in 9 points, while Rudy Hatfield had 8.
Two-time MVP James Yap had a spectacular first three quarters for B-Meg, but was held scoreless in the payoff period.
He ended up scoring 18.
Llamados import Denzel Bowles was also limited by the Gin King’s defense. He had to bleed for points to finish with 12 markers.
Ginebra joined league leader Talk N’ Text in the semifinals.
B-Meg, meanwhile, will have to fight it out with Meralco in a best-of-three playoff series.
Meralco eked out a 102-98 win over Powerade to catch the last trip to the semifinals.
Import Earl Barron pushed the Bolts to the quarters with 33 points and 18 rebounds.
Meralco had to hang on against the Tigers after squandering a 13-point third quarter advantage.
Meralco 102 – Barron 33, Cardona 24, Taulava 16, Ross 12, Mercado 9, Hugnatan 4, Borboran 2, Macapagal 2, Timberlake 0.
Powerade 98 – Jones 20, Lassiter 20, David 20, Casio 14, Anthony 13, Kramer 5, Lingganay 4, Calimag 2, Vanlandingham 0, Allera 0, Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 23-16, 45-43, 75-66, 102-98.
Ginebra 93 - Canaleta 25, Vroman 15, Cortez 15, Ababou 9, Hatfield 8, Labagala 5, Caguioa 5, J. Wilson 4, Mamaril 4, W. Wilson 2, Raymundo 1, Villanueva 0.
B-Meg 84 - Yap 18, Bowles 12, Simon 11, Urbiztondo 10, De Ocampo 10, Devance 9, Intal 6, Pingris 4, Barroca 2, Reavis 2, Acuna 0.
Quarters: 17-27, 40-43, 64-68, 93-84