Sunday, July 15, 2012

Meralco VS Petron Game Result July 15 2012


MERALCO coach Ryan Gregorio wanted to end the season with a flourish and Mario West was all too willing to oblige. West capped his game-long heroics by driving in for the winning basket in a 113-112 squeaker over Petron Blaze Sunday in the PBA Governors Cup at the packed Smart Araneta Coliseum.

 West's up-and-under layup negated the Alex Cabagnot-led Boosters' fiery uprising from the halfway mark of the fourth period and enabled the Bolts to pull off the victory, their second straight against the league heavyweights. "We definitely enjoyed this. Our goal was to end the season on a high note and we actually did," said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.

"There were anxious moments when we couldn’t stop Cabagnot, but we had 'Super Mario' in our roster." West lived up to his coach's tag by finishing with a conference-high 41 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Mark Cardona added 26 and Sol Mercado 19 in Gregorio's rotation for the game, limited to just eight players.

The Bolts formally wound up their season at sixth with a 5-9 win-loss record for the conference and 20-23 overall, a stark improvement from their total 13-20 slate in their maiden year. "We're a lot better in this conference from our previous ones. We definitely made huge progress this season," assessed Gregorio. "I told myself I'd use three days of complete rest and then start formulating ways for us to get better. I did some experiments in our last two games in our offensive executions. We can fine-tune that, relying mostly on the individual talent of my players.

For sure, there's a lot of promise for our franchise." Cabagnot scattered 11 of his career-high 29 points and Chris Lutz 10 of his 22 in the fourth period to spark and fuel Petron's charge from as much as a 16-point deficit and a 91-105 hole. Cabagnot's triple even made it a 112-111 count, before the Bolts executed their last play off a timeout for West to have the ball in the final 5.7 seconds.

 "You want to give it to your best player. It's the basic principle, especially if it's the last shot. He can either go strong or create for his teammate. He took it upon himself to finish strong and he was rewarded," Gregorio explained. Also for naught went Cabagnot's game-high 10 assists and Arwind Santos' 16 points and as many rebounds as Petron wound up with a 6-8 record and fifth in the same tourney it ruled last year. Still, Petron did not go out with a mere whimper.

 It was a far different ending to the one most envisaged when Meralco took advantage of Petron's erratic start to take control of the game and stretch its lead to a high of 81-65, off West's three-point play, 4:58 to go in the third period. Once the Boosters started to take better control of the ball and Cabagnot, limited to just seven points in the first half, took over they began their fightback.

Lutz's three-point play off West knotted the count at 107, capping a 16-2 run in which he had eight points and Cabagnot six. Cardona's charities and Mercado's shotclock-beating jumper made it a four-point game, before Cabagnot boomed in his triple. (NC)

The scores: MERALCO 113 - West 41, Cardona 26, Mercado 19, Ross 10, Taulava 10, Macapagal 5, Reyes 2, Timberlake 0.

 PETRON 112 - Cabagnot 29, Lutz 22, Santos 16, Faison 15, Washington 11, Pena 6, Yeo 5, Hontiveros 4, Baclao 2, Duncil 2, Lanete 0. Quarterscores: 29-24, 56-46, 88-79, 113-112


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