GlobalPort, always an offensive juggernaut since featuring 2 talented offensive players, showed their defensive form this game to close out Meralco, moving up to 4-3 while giving Meralco their 4th straight loss.
GlobalPort took an early 26-19 lead behind Terrence Romeo’s herky-jerky attack, scoring 8 points and assisting on one other. Hugnatan, who’s silently transformed himself into a valuable spacing big for Meralco, hit 2 3-pointers in the 1Q, scoring 8 points, keeping Meralco in the game.
But GlobalPort pushed the issue more in the 2Q, banking on their defense to push their lead to 16 points at multiple points in the quarter. The constant dribble drive attack that GlobalPort has, between Terrence Romeo, Stanley Pringle and, occasionally, Mike Cortez, just wore Meralco down through out the game. Mike Cortez was the catalyst for GlobalPort in the 2Q, scoring 10 points and assisting on 1 basket. GlobalPort finished the 1st half with a 10-point lead, 51-41.
But Meralco fought back in the 2nd half behind rookies Ed Daquioag (6 points and 1 assists) and Jonathan Grey (12 points). After scoring 41 points in the 1st half and shooting only 34 percent (38.1 eFG ), Meralco scored 30 points in the 3rd quarter alone, shooting 62.5 percent (65.6 eFG) and hitting 9 consecutive free throws (they also went 7 of 7 in the 2Q) to cut the lead to a precarious 72-71 entering the 3rd quarter.
GlobalPort was in control for most of the 1st half but the comeback from Meralco in the 3rd was reminiscent of the GlobalPort team that gave up a 23 point lead in the 4th quarter to Phoenix.
But Terrence Romeo — current PER leader (29.6) — would have none of it. He carried GlobalPort on his back in the 4th, on his signature handles, to a win. He scored or assisted on 19 of GlobalPort’s 25 points. He totaled 12 points (5 of 7 from the field, 2 of 4 from the line), 3 assists and 1 steal. There’s a reason why Terrence Romeo, amidst all the gunner mentality critique, is a BPC candidate. He’s not afraid of the big moments and on most days, he’ll come out ahead in the clutch.