Meralco's Darnell Jackson (L) goes to the basket against Rain or Shine's Wayne Chism (R). Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – The Meralco Bolts are hoping to finally nail an elusive semi-finals berth when they take on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in Game 2 of their best-of-three PBA Commissioners Cup quarter-finals series Wednesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts have yet to make a Final Four appearance since taking over the Sta. Lucia Realty franchise in 2010 but are in position right now after beating RoS, 94-91, in Game 1 last Monday.
Meralco, however, has also bungled a 1-0 series lead in two previous Commissioners Cups, something that head coach Ryan Gregorio is highly aware of.
“We’ve been in this situation before. We were not able to close it out, but experience is always the best teacher,” he told PBA.ph. “Hopefully, with more intelligence and experience, we can make it now.”
Import Darnell Jackson compiled 30 points and 15 rebounds – including two clutch baskets down the stretch – while Gary David added 27 markers.
Gregorio said they took advantage of Rain or Shine’s exhaustion, as the Elasto Painters were coming off a Sunday game prior to Game 1.
“We took advantage of the fatigue factor. We pounced on our edge. When they were cramping, I told my import it’s got to be them that’s more tired,” said Gregorio. “And he bailed us out with those big, big shots.”
Rain or Shine import Wayne Chism battled Jackson for the first 44 minutes but faded down the stretch.
Game time is at 8 p.m.