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PBA: Bolts stall Kia

Joshua Davis of Meralco drive  to the basket by KIA Carnival's Mike Burtscher, Mark Yee and Virgil Buensuceso  tries to help during PBA action at CUneta Astrodome.   Photo by Tony PIonilla

Manila, Philippines – Now that jury duty in the Miss Universe pageant is over for him and he has Floyd Mayweather’s private phone number, perhaps Kia Motors playing-coach Manny Pacquiao can finally give the embattled Carnival his undivided attention.

Not to say the 8-division world boxing champion would’ve prevailed where 7-foot-4 center PJ Ramos couldn’t last night, but at least Jai Reyes might not have been able to pull off that clever jump ball move so easily with Pacquiao around.

The Meralco Bolts picked up their second straight victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after handing the Carnival their second consecutive defeat, 90-80, at the Cuneta Astrodome, with Gary David scoring a team-high 25 points.

David, who could be building himself up for a strong case of inclusion to Tab Baldwin’s Gilas Pilipinas, came off the bench and hit 9 of 15 shots, 4 of 5 from 3-point range, with 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal and 4 turnovers, his only black mark in 28:44 minutes.

A member of Chot Reyes’ 2013 FIBA Asia silver medal Gilas team and 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup squad, David had 21 points behind import Josh Davis’ 25, going 8 of 19 from the floor when the Bolts zapped the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 85-74, in the opener last Tuesday.

He drained a 3-pointer when the Carnival threatened at 69-68 with 6:09 left and buried another to put the game away, 88-78, with a minute remaining.

“We did a good job at halftime to instill more energy in our defense,” said Meralco coach Norman Black, who was without starting point guard Mike Cortez (swollen right knee) and swingman Jared Dillinger (right knee straight) but had players from the bench stepping up.

Besides Davis, Reyes, a former Ateneo Blue Eagle, came through with 16 points with 3 3-pointers, while Sean Anthony and veteran Danny Ildefonso each had 6 points.

Davis, who outclassed the Kings’ Michael Dunigan, Meralco’s original choice for import, had 19 points, 19 rebounds and 7 steals, sinking 9 of 10 free throws despite the line drive-like flight of his ball from the stripe.