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Published on November 4, 2011Humbled by Rain or Shine the last time out, Meralco just refused to lose again, bouncing back with a 93-87 win over Barangay Ginebra in the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday night. 

 The Bolts worked hard on both ends throughout and emerged triumphant, ending the Kings’ amazing two-game run of come-from-behind wins.

“Our target was to go up at no. 4 despite losing by 44 (to Rain or Shine). That’s our motivation coming to this game,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio after the game. 

 “It’s just so nice to win after such a humbling defeat and it’s a great feeling hurdling such an obstacle as Ginebra. We played with great resolve so as not to feel the same way we felt against Rain or Shine,” Gregorio added. 

 The Bolts did fight with gritty determination to spring back from their 95-139 blowout by the Elasto Painters Sunday. Mark Cardona top scored with 25 points while Asi Taulava and Gabby Espinas got 11 points each and 11 rebounds apiece, leading Meralco to its fifth win against three losses. 

 Stopped on their tracks, the Ginebra Kings slid to joint fifth place with the Petron Blaze Boosters and the Powerade Tigers at 3-3. Coming off back-to-back come-from-behind wins over the Tigers and the Shopinas.com Clickers, the Kings tried to weave another comeback tale but failed this time. 

 They eventually dropped the game as Jayjay Helterbrand fumbled their possession while trailing by one, 87-88, with 9.8 seconds to play. Cardona drained two charities to make it a three-point game, 90-87, with 7.7 ticks left. Ginebra actually had one last try to force an OT but KG Canaleta muffed a harried three-pointer with defender Mark Borboran all over him. 

 The Bolts won’t really lose this match. “All game long, I was just talking about don’t forget losing that way (by 44 to Rain or Shine). I did not discuss the X’s and O’s,” said Gregorio. 

 The Meralco mentor thought they beat Ginebra on their defensive effort. “This team can’t win on offense. But if we buckle down on defense and limit the opposing team, then sky is the limit for our destination,” he said. (SB) 

 The scores: 

 MERALCO 93 - Cardona 25, Mercado 14, Isip 13, Espinas 11, Taulava 11, Macapagal 8, Timberlake 4, Borboran 3, Omolon 2, Hugnatan 2, Ballesteros 0, Yee 0, Lanete 0. 

 GINEBRA 87 - Canaleta 16, Villanueva 14, Helterbrand 14, Caguioa 10, Intal 9, Cortez 8, De Ocampo 6, Wilson J. 4, Wilson W. 3, Tubid 3, Cervantes 0, Labagala 0. Quarters: 26-16, 39-41, 66-66, 93-87




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