July 11, 2024

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Pasaol’s Big break Nets Meralco Bolts A Win Versus NLEX Road Warriors

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In a game filled with excitement and a rain delay, Alvin Pasaol delivered a scorching performance to lead the Meralco Bolts to a 96-83 victory over the NLEX Road Warriors in their PBA on Tour collision on Wednesday, July 12,  at the Ynares Arena.

Despite heavy rain that caused a temporary halt in play, Pasaol remained on fire throughout the game, pouring in 25 points to help secure the win for Meralco. The rookie sensation showcased his long-range shooting prowess, hitting 7-of-12 three-pointers and providing a much-needed offensive spark for his team.

Pasaol, the ninth overall pick in the 2021 Rookie Draft, had struggled to find his rhythm in previous games, averaging just 4.5 points. However, he credited his breakout performance to the instructions of active consultant Nenad Vucinic, who urged the team to take advantage of NLEX’s zone defense.

“We had trouble in previous losses against zone defenses. At halftime, Coach Nenad told us to be confident because the outside shots were there for us,” explained Pasaol. “Thankfully, they started falling.”

His teammates complemented Pasaol’s impressive display from beyond the arc. Allein Maliksi, Frankie Johnson, and Diego Dario each contributed three triples, adding to Meralco’s total of 16 made three-pointers. The Bolts’ outside shooting barrage proved too much for NLEX to handle.

Meralco’s dominance extended to the rebounding battle, where they outrebounded NLEX 69-48, resulting in a significant advantage in second-chance points. Raymond Almazan led the charge for the Bolts’ big men, tallying 12 points and eight rebounds.

While Aaron Black struggled to find his scoring touch, going 0-of-7 from the field, he made his presence felt by dishing out nine assists in his first preseason appearance.

For NLEX, their previously successful zone defense strategy faltered against Meralco’s sharpshooters. Coach Frankie Lim cited manpower issues for employing the zone defense, with only nine available players. However, it proved ineffective against the Bolts’ offensive onslaught.

Despite the efforts of Don Trollano, Sean Anthony, and Matt Nieto, who combined for 47 points, NLEX fell short in their bid to secure a victory. The Road Warriors hold a 3-5 record in the preseason series.

Not even a brief delay caused by leaks from the arena’s roof, brought on by the heavy rain, could cool down Pasaol’s hot shooting. When play resumed, he knocked down three more triples, extending Meralco’s lead to a comfortable 93-77 advantage.

Before Pasaol’s outburst, Maliksi’s scoring spree and Jansen Rios’ contributions fueled a crucial 16-6 run for Meralco, turning a one-point deficit into a nine-point lead heading into the final quarter.

With Pasaol finding his rhythm and leading the way, Meralco aims to carry this momentum into the regular season as they prepare for the challenges ahead.

The box scores:

MERALCO 96—Pasaol 25, Almazan 12, Dario 11, Maliksi 11, Johnson 10, Rios 6, Pascual 6, Hodge 4, Torres 4, Quinto 3, Jose 2, Black 0.

NLEX 83—Trollano 17, Anthony 15, Nieto 15, Herndon 10, Alas 10, Doliguez 9, Pascual 4, Adamos 3, Fajardo 0

Quarters: 24-20, 43-39, 71-62, 96-83.

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