FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
Published on November 23, 2011

Ageless Asi Taulava turned back time and came through with a mammoth performance as Meralco downed Barako Bull, 83-75, to leap to solo fourth spot in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum last Wednesday. 

Mark Cardona fired 17 points while Gabby Espinas, Solomon Mercado and Mark Isip chipped in 16, 12 and 10, respectively. 

Taulava, who turned 38 this year, however, played the biggest as he came through with monster numbers of 10 points and his conference high 17 rebounds as the Bolts nailed their seventh win against four losses to improve from a share of No. 4 with idle B-Meg (6-4) to solo hold of it.

"Asi is truly playing like a young guy, he's doing a good job keeping our team together with his maturity," said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio. 

"He's not only displaying great numberes for a guy whose not supposed to play this well and obviously turning back the hands of time." 

The Energy fell to their fifth setback against the same number of triumphs and into a share of No. 6 with the Brgy. Ginebra Kings. 

The Energy roared their way back by knotting a 50-all count on a sneaky lay-up by Paul Artadi but an 11-0 blast late in the third quarter sent the Bolts lead into double digits, 61-50, going into the final canto. 

Gabby Espinas fired 10 points in the first half as Meralco went into the halftime with a 37-33 cushion. The Energy played more cohesive basketball at the break with eight assists against just two by the Bolts but the latter made up for it with high percentage shooting as they made 14 of the 31 shots they took as against the former's 14-of-38 clip. 

With Espinas doing the dirty job, the Bolts were in control in the early goings, leading 21-18 at the end of the first quarter. 

The scores: 

MERALCO 83 - Cardona 17, Espinas 16, Mercado 12, Isip 10, Taulava 10, Lanete 5, Borboran 4, Omolon 4, Macapagal 3, Hugnatan 2, Yee 0. 

BARAKO 75 - Miller 14, Pennisi 14, Arboleda 13, Pena 12, Najorda 7, Ababou 5, Aquino 4, Salvador 4, Artadi 2, Salvacion 0, Allado 0.

Quarters: 21-18, 37-33, 61-50, 83-75


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