Meralco Bolts 109 – Columbian Dyip 106
In a seesaw affair all throughout, it was the Meralco Bolts that came out on top versus the Columbian Dyip for the first game of the 2018 PBA Governors Cup.
This game could have gone either way, not as a result of points being exchanged, but instead, runs. The Dyip led by as much as 14 points, while the Bolts held as much as a 12 point lead during the course of the game. Despite the double digit leads both teams held at points during the game, you never felt either team gaining any form of comfort as the game wore on. Many thought it would have ended up as a tight game by the end of it, and that’s exactly what the fans got.
The Bolts unleashed a 5-0 run that gave them a six point lead with three minutes left on the clock. But the Dyip fought back, tying the game at 106 a piece with 1 minute left off an and one by Glenn Khobuntin. They could have grabbed the lead off a Khobuntin made free throw, but the former NU Bulldog missed the freebie to keep the game tied.
Come the next play, Baser Amer scored off a drive to give the Bolts a two point lead. With the Dyip unable to convert off ensuing possessions, the Bolts were able to secure win number one for the Governors Cup.
Meralco hero Baser Amer came up with an all-around line of 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while import Allen Durham had 26 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists. Columbian import Akeem Wright put up 30 points and 14 rebounds in the losing effort.
NLEX Road Warriors 103 – TNT KaTropa 90
No Coach Yeng Guiao and Asi Taulava? No problem.
The NLEX Road Warriors held control for most of the game, wounding up with a double digit win versus sister team TNT Katropa to start their Governors’ Cup run. Despite not having their head coach, the Road Warriors still came out playing like how Coach Guiao would expect them to play: hard, and with the mindset of giving everybody a chance. It wasn’t too surprising to see then that less renowned names gave the Road Warriors a boost for this game.
NLEX import Olu Ashaolu led the way with a dominant 33 point 23 rebound showing, but what gave the Road Warriors the spark that it needed were former SWU Cobra Mark Tallo and former JRU Heavy Bomber Philip Paniamogan. Tallo, in particular, continued to step up as the primary playmaker of the Road Warriors, handling the offense with the kind of control he’s always been known for. Tallo scored 16 points on an efficient 5/10 shooting clip, while dishing out three assists in the process.
Philip Paniamogan was a great spark off the bench as well, providing spacing for the free flowing offense of the Road Warriors. He scored 11 points with two made threes, while also handing out three assists.
Also helping out the cause of the Road Warriors was Larry Fonacier who came out with 14 points. Leading the way for TNT was Terrence Romeo, who scored 27 points on a 52 percent shooting clip.
Photo from PBA.PH