Meralco mauls Alaska in emotional clash
MANILA, Philippines – Gary David came up with another scintillating performance to steer Meralco past Alaska, 74-65, in an intense match in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday.
The prolific scorer had 10 of his 24 points in the third quarter, where the Bolts started pulling away from the Aces.
“Kailangan na ito eh. Sanay ako sa ganitong laro na nasa ilalim kami ng standings,” David said in the PBA website, referring to his team’s push to the quarterfinal round.
“Ito na yung hinahanap ko na winning attitude. Umiiskor ako at may mga kasama akong grabe yung hustle sa rebounds, depensa, at blocks,” added David, who also notched 7 rebounds and 5 assists under his name.
Equally intense was Jared Dillinger, who figured in a commotion with Calvin Abueva during the final quarter.
He suffered a bloodied nose after being hit by a wayward elbow while getting entangled with “The Beast” under the basket.
Dillinger then stood up and pushed Abueva down the cushioned railing.
Dillinger was still able to finish the game with an all-around performance of 10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
He said the scuffle was a result of an emotional match.
“Both teams knew the importance of the game. The rift between me and Calvin was two men going after the ball. Emotions were flying and the importance of the game was on the line. I have nothing against him. He was going hard and I was going hard. Sometimes, emotions overflow and there are no hard feelings,” Dillinger later explained.
Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio said the commotion reflected his team’s take-no-prisoner attitude towards the game.
“I told them to be ready for war,” said Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio. “It’s not gonna be easy against Alaska. They’re also fighting for survival like us.”
“When you go to a war and you get bloodied, you just wipe it. You don’t stop playing. So I thought when Dillinger had his bloody nose and he just wiped it, that’s an incredible signal for everyone to just finish it up,” he added.
Meralco now shares the fifth spot with Barako Bull with a similar 5-7 win-loss card. Alaska, meanwhile, fell to 4-8.
JVee Casio topscored for Alaska with 15 points, while Sonny Thoss added a double-double of 14 markers and 12 boards.
Meralco 74 – David 24, Dillinger 10, Hodge 10, Hugnatan 9, Salvacion 8, Wilson 7, Artadi 4, Ildefonso 2, Al-Hussaini 0, Guevarra 0.
Alaska 65 – Casio 15, Thoss 14, Espinas 13, Baguio 7, Abueva 6, Ramos 5, Dela Cruz 2, Jazul 2, Hontiveros 1, Exciminiano 0, Eman 0.
Quarterscores: 24-17, 40-32, 65-51, 74-65.