JOSH Davis felt helpless as he could only watch Meralco suffer a 107-98 loss to Rain or Shine in Game Three of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series and get eliminated from the playoffs.
At the worst possible time, the Bolts’ hardworking import was forced to sit on the bench as he was sidelined with a hyperextended left shoulder he suffered in the third quarter of Game Two.
“It’s depressing. But the only thing I could do was to be a cheerleader,” said Davis, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder.
But the American reinforcement was eager to suit up, although team doctors “strongly advised” against it.
“I wanted to play. And I went through procedures and took oral medicine. I did everything I could, but it just wasn’t enough.”
Still, he was impressed that his squad showed character in fighting back from an early deficit even without him.
“That says a lot,” Davis said. “I have a great team around me. I wasn’t able to get this far without them and vice versa.”
Cliff Hodge tried to fill the void as he led five Bolts who scored in double figures. After producing just two points in Game Two, the athletic power forward tallied a team-high-tying 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting, 13 boards, four assists, one block in 40 minutes.
Super-sub Mark Macapagal chipped in 20 points off the bench, including 13 in the second quarter where they erased a 19-point deficit and took the lead for a while.
“It was just a big gap for us to fill playing without an import,” Hodge said. “But I feel like we went out and played the best that we could.”
“I’m really proud of the way my players played tonight. They really gave the effort despite the fact that we did not have Josh,” said Bolts coach Norman Black, who also missed the services of versatile forward Jared Dilinger.
“But of course, Rain or Shine, they’re more experienced than us and they got more bodies they could throw at us,” Hodge continued as the Elasto Painters fielded 14 players, including eight who scored at least seven points.