Kings short-circuit Bolts in Cebu duel
MANILA, Philippines - Cedric Bozeman and Mark Caguioa combined for 49 points and the entire Barangay Ginebra team came through with a solid defensive effort as the Kings ripped the Meralco Bolts, 100-73, in a PBA Governors Cup road game at the Hoopz Dome in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu last night.
Bozeman outclassed Champ Oguchi and Caguioa held his own in a shootout with Sol Mercado, leading the Kings to a second win in three starts in the season-ending tourney.
Rookie Allein Maliksi continued to make good impression and Rico Maierhofer had his contribution in his return from a long layoff as Ginebra caught up with B-Meg and Petron at second place behind unbeaten leader Rain or Shine (3-0).
Mercado scored 23 points to pace the Bolts in the game serving as the kickoff of the PBA Phoenix Fuel on Tour.
"Everybody contributed in scoring and in defending. It's good our defense held up. I think that's the key," said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.
"Our next game is Rain or Shine. They’re leading right now. We’ll see what we can do," Tanquingcen added.
Petron Blaze, stunned by an injury-depleted Talk n Text side Wednesday, hopes to get back on track as it takes on Alaska Milk at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight.
After stopping the Boosters, 102-87, the Texters try to get going as they tangle with the Powerade Tigers in the day's other game.
The Texters are not 100 percent healthy but promise to find a way to nail down a second straight win following back-to-back defeats.
The Tigers and the Aces are also out to notch a second win in four starts while the Boosters are after a third win against a lone defeat.
The Boosters suffered their first loss in the tourney curiously the first time that Serbian coach Rajko Toroman sat on their bench as team consultant.
Putting behind them their downfall in the last conference, the Texters fought with renewed energy and went on to keep their streak versus the Boosters in their head-on battles.
Coach Chot Reyes and his troops made it 5-0 over the Boosters since their amazing rally from 1-3 down in their best-of-seven semifinal showdown in the Philippine Cup.
"We made a commitment to forget what happened (in the Commissioner’s Cup finals). We uncluttered our minds," said Reyes.
"We're really affected by the last finals. We lost fun in the game. We dreaded going to practice, we dreaded going to the game," Reyes added.
"It started with me. I was still very disappointed. In a meeting, we decided we have to move forward. To do that, we have to have closure. It will not come from the league but from ourselves."
Back with a positive mindset, the Texters regained their competitive form and finally broke into the win-column in the season-ending tourney versus the Boosters.
The Texters hope they can continue enduring injuries to key players.
"It will be tough without Ryan Reyes and Jason Castro as we won't have our best defensive stoppers for Gary David," said Reyes.
David has been playing like an import for Powerade, averaging 26 points an outing.
Like the Texters, the Tigers have just notched their breakthrough win in the tourney, walloping the Alaska Milk Aces, 114-97, Friday.
"It's tough to play back-to-back games and it becomes tougher because we go up against Talk n Text," said Powerade coach Bo Perasol.
David erupted for 31 points while new import Omar Sneed narrowly missed a triple-double game with 13 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds against the Aces.
Sneed will be up tonight against the team that brought him over in the country in 2010 as standby import. He failed to play a single game then, though.
Ginebra 100 – Bozeman 27, Caguioa 22, Maliksi 16, Raymundo 13, Cortez 8, Maierhofer 7, Ababou 4, Hatfield 2, Mamaril 2, Labagala 2, Wilson 2, Helterbrand 0.
Meralco 73 – Mercado 23, Hugnatan 18, Oguchi 16, Taulava 4, Artadi 4, Macapagal 4, Cardona 2, Daa 2, Reyes 0, Ross 0.
Quarterscores: 25-13, 41-39, 67-57, 100-73