GlobalPort Nails 1st PBA Win

Lighting struck twice for Meralco last night.

First, the Bolts lost valuables amounting to R200,000 to a burglar who ransacked their dugout while the game was barely half way at the SM Mall of Arena.

Coach Ryan Gregorio was the biggest loser when his bag that contains an iPad and a cash amounting to R8,000 was one of those carted away while the game was still in progress.

Assistant coaches Ronnie Magsanoc and Havi Nunag also lost their iPads, as well as PT Mon Macatangay.

This marked the first time that the incident happened at the MOA Arena, a development that did not sit well for Commissioner Chito Salud.

''It's indeed unfortunate,'' said Salud. ''They just have to tighten their security measures and improve their response procedure. I am confident the MOA Arena management can immediately rectify their shortcomings, ensure the safety of the teams and the fans and indemnify in full the victims of today's theft and robbery.''

Then the biggest shocker was their 105-104 loss to newcomer GlobalPort in the PBA Philippine Cup.

With former two-time MVP Willie Miller waxing hot, the Batang Pier finally ended a three-game losing run even without top gunner Gary David.

Miller scored 33 points, the first time he had a 30-point game in four seasons or since he dropped 34 points when he was still with Alaska during the 2008 Fiesta Cup. He shot 10-of-16 from the field, including 6-of-7 from three-point territory.

Miller joined hands with Globalport young guns like rookies Jason Deutchman and Alfred Mandani, as well as third year forward Rey Guevara in a crucial run in the fourth quarter when Batang Pier fell behind by as many as 14 points, 92-78, 8:36 left in the game.

Deutchman's back-to-back three-pointers - his third and fourth in the game - gave Globalport the lead, 100-99, 1:13 left.

After rookie Vic Manuel blocked the shot of fellow freshman Cliff Hodge of Meralco, Mandani grabbed the loose ball and scored on a lay-up. Fouled by Ronjay Buenafe, Mandani completed a three-point play that gave Batang Pier a 103-99 advantage with 17 ticks remaining.

Buenafe buried his seventh triple of the game out of 12 attempts with 5.4 seconds, but Rabah Al-Hussaini made two free throws off a Buenafe foul with 4.5 seconds to play, 105-102.

''First win, kala ko hindi aabot ngayon,'' said Globalport coach Glenn Capacio, whose team now sports a 1-3 card. ''Ang hirap manalo, alam naman natin ang mga teams dito malalakas. Mahirap talaga 'pag first win. Kaya malaking bagay para sa mga players.''

''Hopefully we can sustain it. Our next game will be against Rain or shine. We have to be consistent on our defense,'' added Capacio.

Globalport team owner Mikee Romero was happy with the win, saying: ''Mahirap manalo pero first win napakasarap.''

Meanwhile, Salud reaffirmed the league's commitment to the national team following his meeting with Smart-Gilas Pilipinas II coach Chot Reyes, who has been given a free-hand to submit a new 20-man pool to prepare for the FIBA-Asia Championship in Beirut, Lebanon next year, the qualifier for the 2014 World Championship in Spain.

Meantime, Petron Blaze rookie June Mar Fajardo will undergo surgery today to remove a blood-clot on his scrotum after he was accidentally hit in that area by San Mig Coffee's Marc Jean Pingris during their game last Sunday.

David was still recuperating from an injury.


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