MERALCO drew inspired plays from John Wilson and veteran Reynel Hugnatan as the Bolts extended the preseason struggles of undermanned Barangay Ginebra, 91-79, in their PBA Liga ng Bayan game on Sunday in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.
The Bolts appear revitalized under new coach Norman Black with Wilson getting Best Player of the Game honors after scoring 18 points and Hugnatan chipping in with 15.
Meralco also took advantage of the absence of Ginebra sophomore slotman Greg Slaughter, out with an ankle sprain.
Kings rookie forward Rodney Brondial is also out with a jaw injury after being hit in practice, while Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio joined the team in Davao, but didn’t see action to rest after playing for Gilas Pilipinas the past two months.
Fil-American Cliff Hodge added 13, Rey Guevarra had 11, while new addition Sean Anthony chipped in 10 for the Bolts, who are out to improve this time under Black after ending with a pair of ninth place finishes and a seventh place last season.
Ginebra’s preseason struggle continued, counting its losses to Barako Bull (75-79) and the Mindanao-based team Goldstar Davao, 87-90, in the opener of the Visayas pocket tournament that featured teams from Leyte and Cebu two weeks ago.
Meralco 91 — Wilson 18 , Hugnatan 15 Hodge 13, Guevarra 11, Anthony 10, Atkins 7, Caram 6, Ferriols 4, Morrison 3, Buenafe 2, Sena 0, Macapagal 0.
Ginebra 79 — Caguioa 21, Yeo 11, Baracael 9, Ellis 8, Ababou 8, Reyes 7, Mamaril 5, Forrester 5, Helterbrand 4, Monfort 1, Urbiztondo 0.
Quarterscores: 25-13; 38-34; 66-61; 91-79.