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    Dawson-led Bolts facing tricky test against Aces 

    Feb 12, 2013

    WHILE prolific import Eric Dawson undoubtedly carried Meralco to an opening-night shocker over Talk 'N Text, coach Ryan Gregorio feels his team has a well-rounded offensive game that has become even more flexible and efficient since a surprise trade two weeks ago.

    The Bolts go for a share of the early lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup when they take on Alaska on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum, with Gregorio hoping his locals will step up offensively to keep the Aces from focusing their defense solely on Dawson.

    “I think more than anything else, it’s really the unpredictability of our game right now that makes us efficient. We can go to the post and go off screen,” said Gregorio, who is now without star point guard Sol Mercado but is so far satisfied with the performance of former backup Chris Ross.

    “It also shows that if we play defense, we can beat the best team in the league.”

    The game starts at 5:15 p.m. with Dawson, who had 37 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, two steals and four block shots in 37 minutes in his PBA debut, expected to again take the lead for Meralco.

    Focus will also be on Ronjay Buenafe and Mark Cardona, who combined for 35 points, and former backup playmaker Ross, who came up with eight assists and nine rebounds in the 99-92 win against Talk ’N Text.

    The Aces also won their opening match, and Alaska coach Luigi Trillo hopes they can sustain the good start by playing solid as a team.

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    “We know we’re not yet 100 percent. And realizing our import is not the most dominating, yet, he’s more versatile. We just need to box out collectively,” said Trillo, whose team dominated the boards, 52-44 against Rain or Shine on Saturday in a pulsating 83-81 win.

    Import Robert Dozier had a quiet 21 points to lead the Aces, while adding 16 rebounds and three blocks in his first PBA game.

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