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BOLTS GO FOR FOLLOW-UP, EXPRESS EYE SLIDE-STOPPING WIN

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TEAMS which appear to be headed opposite directions collide Wednesday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

A refreshed Meralco squad still buoyed up by an exhilarating win and an Air21 crew reeling from four straight tight losses tangle with each expected to go all-out for the coveted “W.”

Especially the Express, who for closing in on a month now have not found ways to win and are coming off a 53-60 decision to Petron Blaze last Friday.

That latest loss should rankle since the Express’ output is the worst in the Bert Lina-owned franchise’s history, as well as its 24-point halftime score.

Despite that seven-point defeat, however, Air21 could take some solace from the fact its current average losing margin of 3.4 ppg is the lowest in the field and gave Express coach Franz Pumaren a crystal-clear idea of where his charges need to improve.

“We need better execution down the stretch,” said Pumaren.

While Air21 is seemingly in the dumps, Meralco is on a high.

Thanks to a buzzer-beating triple by Sunday Salvacion the Bolts edged GlobaPort, 90-89, last Sunday to snap out of their own three-game slide.

Meralco has used the 10-day break by further honing its game and gone on another team-building session in Nasugbu, Batangas, to further fortify its resolve.

“The break allowed us to fine-tune our offense, strengthen our defense and solidify our team spirit,” related Bolts coach Ryan Gregorio.

“We are upbeat to play again after the ‘Sunday Special’ hat-trick against GlobalPort. We want to continue to climb up the ladder,” he added.

“We are prepared to battle Air21 with defense as our main weapon.” (NC)

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