Meralco import Josh Davis beat the buzzer with a tough running shot to lift the Bolts past the Globalport Batang Pier, 86-84, last night to keep solo leadership as the only unbeaten team in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Davis got the inbound pass from Sean Anthony, took several dribbles against Globalport’s new import Calvin Warren, and then took off with his right foot and fired a shot in front of rookie Stanley Pringle.
The shot found nothing but net, triggering a wild celebration by the Bolts who extended their winning streak to five, a franchise best start.
Prior to the miracle shot by Davis, Globalport gunner Ronjay Buenafe leveled the score at 84-all with a booming 3-pointer from the right corner with 2.7 seconds left in the game.
Meralco mentor Norman Black said that Davis had asked for the play and wanted the ball in his hands for the last shot, and the former San Diego State stalwart did not disappoint.
In the second game, Talk ‘N Text edged Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 104-103, with Jayson Castro stealing Mac Baracael’s inbound pass with 2.8 seconds remaining to preserve the Tropang Texters’ 4th win in 5 games.
The Kings regained possession after TNT import Richard Howell threw his own inbounds pass out at the baseline.
Ginebra called time but faced a lengthy space to operate as Baracael threw in in front of the TNT bench, three-quarters away from the Kings’ basket.
Joseph Yeo hit a one-pump 3-pointer to cut a 104-100 TNT lead to one before Howell turned the ball over.
Meanwhile, the PBA board of governors bared that it has accepted the decision of Commissioner Chito Salud to step down at the end of his fifth year in July and will meet on Feb. 26 to determine the guidelines in choosing Salud’s successor.
PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio of Talk ‘N Text said they hope to find a replacement by the end of the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup, with the new man at the helm joining Salud as his deputy in the season-ending Governors’ Cup.
The 52-year-old Salud said that he feels it was time for him to move on to other endeavors.
“With due and respectful notice to our team owners and board of governors, I have decided to step down and relinquish my position as PBA commissioner at the end of this season,” said Salud.
“After five years as commissioner, I believe the time is right to pass the baton to a new and fresh leadership, a fresh face with a fresh voice and fresh ideas that will take the league to greater heights.”
The son of the late former commissioner Rudy Salud dispelled talks that he plans to enter politics in the 2016 national elections.
“Politics? No. Let’s leave that to the experts,” said Salud.
MERALCO 86 – Davis 33, David 22, Cortez 10, Wilson 8, Anthony 8, Reyes 3 , Hugnatan 2, Atkins 0, Hodge 0, Ildefonso 0, Buenafe 0, Sena 0, Dillinger 0, Macapagal 0, Ferriols 0.
GLOBALPORT 84 – Warner 24, Romeo 14, Ponferada 10, Miranda 9, Buenafe 9, Pringle 6, Semerad 6, Isip 6, Taha 0, Caperal 0, Pinto 0, Nabong 0, Baclao 0, Jensen 0, De Ocampo 0.
Quarters: 20-15, 38-31, 59-58, 86-84.
TALK N’ TEXT 104 – Castro 31, Howell 20, De Ocampo 17, Rosser 15, Alas 7, Reyes R. J. 7, Fonacier 4, Miller 3, Washington 0, Carey 0.
GINEBRA 103 – Dunigan 30, Baracael 20, Tenorio 14, Yeo 12, Caguioa 11, Slaughter 9, Mamaril 4, Monfort 3, Aguilar 0, Ellis 0.
Quarters: 20-28, 49-52, 79-75, 104-103.