'Super Mario' West powers Meralco past Alaska
MANILA, Philippines – Mario West scored 20 of his 32 points in the third quarter to steer Meralco past Alaska, 84-74, at the PBA Governors' Cup on Tuesday.
West atoned for a lackluster first-half performance with a strong comeback in the next two quarters.
West went made 6 of his 12 field goal attempts and 8 of 12 free throw shots to outscore the whole Alaska team in the third quarter.
This helped the Bolts to post a 16 point advantage, 73-57, before eventually going home with the win.
“It was a good timing for us to play Alaska while they’re playing a third game in seven days. It’s imperative for us to try to find ways to outhustle them,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.
“We also found ways to compete defensively. We made a good job on [Wendell] McKines. We didn’t give him open looks. That’s why we held him down to 13 points.”
Gregorio also praised West, who was limited to a mere 8 points in the first half, for his output.
“He’s a bit frustrated in the first half. We had a bit of running mouth competition but, in the end, he’s professional. He went through it,” he said. “He’s a warrior, he’s a competitor. He got to the line 21 times and that’s part of the strategy.”
Gregorio also credited their defense for their win. They were successful in limiting the Aces to 74 points, which tied GlobalPort’s conference low in its 74-94 loss to Rain or Shine.
McKines finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, which paled in comparison to his 27-point and 15-rebound output against Barangay Ginebra.
Meralco 84 – West 32, Wilson 15, Hugnatan 12, Cardona 9, Guevarra 7, Hodge 6, Reyes 2, Ross 1, Timberlake 0, Artadi 0, Salvacion 0.
Alaska 74 – McKines 13, CAsio 12, Thoss 10, Baguio 10, Abueva 9, Hontiveros 9, Espinas 4, Dela Cruz 4, Jazul 3, Ramos 0, Eman 0, Belasco 0.
Quarters: 14-19, 32-30, 62-49, 84-74