ANTIPOLO - Mike Tolomia typified the Meralco bench support that kept the Bolts within striking distance against San Miguel Beer before surrendering a 103-97 defeat in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup on Wednesday night.
The Bolts bench outscored their SMB counterparts, 48-13, with almost half coming from Tolomia, who scattered a team-high 21 points, on top of six assists, four rebounds, and one steal in 30 minutes.
“Na-challenge din,” Tolomia said. “Lagi nila akong pinapaalalahanan na laruin ko lang yung laro ko at wag titingin sa bench pag nagkamali. Nagawa ko siya nung second half na wala yung iniisip ko masyado. Gumanda naman.”
The sophomore playmaker knocked down five of the Bolts’ 15 three-pointers as he simply made the Beermen pay by giving him space beyond the arc.
“Yun ang binibigay ng depensa ng SMB,” the former D-League MVP out of Far Eastern University said. “Pag di ko itira yun, magagalit din si coach Norman kasi libre. Tinetake ko lang yung binibigay ng defense.”
His last triple from the left wing off a Baser Amer feed pulled the Bolts to within five points, 97-102 with 38.9 seconds left – capping off the Bolts’ last stand that just fell short.
“It’s a very positive thing for the team,” Tolomi said. “Yan ang standard ng all-Filipino, yung San Miguel. Every year, malakas talaga sila sa all-Filipino. Para dumikit kami sa sobrang lakas na team tulad nila, it’s a positive thing.”