It was fun while it lasted. I followed this game via Twitter as I was stuck in traffic. After the first quarter where the Bolts ended up down by 12 before fighting back in the second quarter, I just had to tweet this out.
Is twitter just screwing with me and retweeting Game one?
— TK (@tonesNdef) June 29, 2015
The Bolts were stuck in a land of midrange shots in the first quarter, and missed whatever shots they did manage to get at the rim. You can’t really blame them though. The Beermen were playing solid defense and June Mar just was being June Mar. Then the second quarter started, and the Bolts made a run cutting the lead to within two as they got more aggressive towards the rim. It felt like a rerun of Game 1, without all of Jared Dillinger‘s three-pointers for a moment there. I had a sense of hope. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel…I…I should not have been so naive and ignorant to not expect that the Beermen would not have an answer for the Bolts this time. For every run the Bolts had in this game, the Beermen had an answer immediately. Arwind Santos led the Beermen way out of their two-point deficit. AZ Reid broke away for layup after layup to get them out of the third quarter run. Marcio Lassiter made only 3 of 7 three point shots, but he made sure they came at the right moments to effectively shatter all hopes of the Bolts making a run. For the Bolts, it wasn’t for the lack of effort of making a go for the win. It was just the Beermen extinguishing the flame at the sight of a spark.
Even though they showed the effort, the execution could have been better for the Bolts though. A large part of the reason they had won the first game was because they had turned the ball over only eight times. In this game, they had 12 by the halftime intermission and no other turnover was more glorious that the 3rd quarter Mike Cortez “I want to play football” turnover.
With the turnover issue pointed out, it must be said that this game emphasized a problem that the Bolts had been facing all season long: The point guard position. After playing neither Simon Atkins nor Anjo Caram in the first game, Norman Black played both of them for a total of about 13 minutes, thus leaving their Asian import, Seiya Ando, with only nine minutes of play. This is not to say that Ando was playing his mind out (because Ando was not playing that well) but I can guess that this might be a reason why the Bolts offense lacked consistency for large periods of this game (and in a bigger picture, this season). Dillinger struggled to find rhythm as he also had to handle the ball and couldn’t replicate that amazing performance he had in the last game. He had a mini five-point run which almost pushed the Bolts to the lead, but then faded away again. The Bolts tread water with the usual Andre Emmett scoring, and got boosts from Gary David (16 points) and All-Star Reynel Hugnatan (17 points, 7/10 FG shooting). Despite the disappointment of the loss, Hugnatan’s shooting was a sight to see, going 5/5 FG and 2/2 FT in the first half before airballing his sixth shot. And we’ll always have his bouncy ponytail. Easily put, the Beermen continued to play their game of June Mar post dumping (22 points on 8/10 shooting. GADDAYUM), AZ Reid isolation, and corner threes (TUBID!!) which lead them to a 59.4 eFG%. It is really hard to beat a team that scores like that. The Bolts were just lucky to have caught them offguard for two straight games and the third time didn’t turn out to be the charm. This might be the Bolts’ last game of the season, but the playoffs are far from over. It’s been one hell of a ride. Videos courtesy of ABS-CBN Sports, Featured image via PBA.Inquirer.net