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By the Numbers: Durham, Hugnatan and the Threes that Lifted the Bolts

For one game, Meralco was able to work around their height disadvantage and won one against the giants


Allen Durham played Game 3 like the Best Import he should be.  


Just when Ginebra thought that they can sweep the series and celebrate by tomorrow night, just when Ginebra defenders thought that the Meralco Bolts would continue with their brick-shooting habit, the defending champions were proven wrong as the Bolts came out from nowhere as they regained their shooting touch, torched the Gin Kings and the result: a 94-81 victory which trimmed down the series deficit to 2-1.

Of course, this victory by the Bolts changed nothing primarily because Ginebra is still 2 wins away from clinching the championship while Meralco will need to win tomorrow's Game 4, win Game 5 and then a victory in Game 6 will give them their first championship in franchise history.

If any of you missed last night's game and are wondering what on Earth happened, let this basketball pundit on wheels run some numbers for you:


11 Threes Made

Since the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings are relatively filled with giant players, the alternative for the Bolts of Norman Black was to shoot from the outside and that was something they did horribly back in the first two games of this best-of-7 series. How bad was it?

Game 1

8 out of 34

Game 2 

5 out of 18


In total, the Bolts only made 13 of their whopping 52 ATTEMPTS from deep. That number changed dramatically in Game 3 where Meralco made 11 of their shots from rainbow country. 7 of those 11 made baskets came from the old man, Reynel Hugnatan. See? If the Bolts are shooting better especially from beyond the three-point line, they can beat the champs. In fact, if they can keep this kind of shooting come tomorrow, they can even dethrone Ginebra. Consistency is the key here for the Bolts especially with the fact that Ranidel De Ocampo only played sparingly but was taken out of Game 3 due to injury. Jared Dillinger needs to keep making more of those long-distance bombs instead of missing them. 


22 Points from Reynel Hugnatan- Surprise!

We all know that one of the oldest players sitting on the bench of Norman Black, Reynel Hugnatan- can make those three-pointers as if he is Jimmy Alapag. And that's not a surprise, really. Hugnatan used to drain away those bombs during the last time both teams met in the Finals last year. His 22 points in last night's Game 3 were built on 7 three-pointers, making 7 of his 12 attempts- a 58% 3-point shooting. If anything, the Meralco Bolts will need more from Grandpa Reynel if they seriously want to challenge the supremacy of the Gin Kings. 


38 points, 19 rebounds, 5 blocks for Allen Durham

That stat-line above is a testament that Allen Durham is indeed, deserving of his back-to-back Best Import awards. He made 50% of his 30 attempts in Game 3 and 72% of his 11 free throw attempts. And yes, Durham is one of the primary reasons why the Bolts won last night because he was the lone starter for Meralco who scored in double figures. 


Conclusion

One game doesn't change anything- at least for the defending champions. But for the challengers to the champions, it means everything to them. For one game, the Bolts were able to take down the giants. For one game, Meralco was able to electrocute the Gin Kings with their three-pointers. For one game, Norman Black and the rest of the Bolts walked out victorious. The next step for them: do them all over again for 3 more games- starting with tomorrow's Game 4. 

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