Meralco Bolts coach Norman Black’s worst fears came true on Saturday night when the San Miguel Beermen dealt them their first loss of the in the mid-season conference in a virtual repeat of last year.
San Miguel’s prolific import Tyler Wilkerson caught fire in the final quarter, hitting 13 of his 27 points to power the Beermen to a 94-86 win in an out-of-town game in Legazpi, Albay.
Before heading to Legazpi, Black was hoping to exorcise the ghost of last season’s loss to the Beermen that derailed their campaign. They also went to 5-0 start until their ill-fated game against the Beermen in which they lost their talented import Josh Davis to injury.
They were never the same again, losing 4 of their last 5 games. They managed to enter the semifinals for the first time in the franchise history but got swept.
Despite losing to the Beermen anew, the Bolts can console themselves of the fact that Arinze Onuako didn’t fall like Davis.
Onuako had a monster game collecting 28 points and 30 rebounds but Wilkerson won their matchup with his late explosion.
Wilkerson drew solid support with 5 locals chipping in 9 or more points led by Gabby Espinas’ 13 in 12 minutes.
In contrast, Onuako was left to carry the Bolts on his broad shoulders as only Gary David was the only other Meralco player hitting in double figures.