KG Canaleta torched the nets of Stadium 29 as he paced the Meralco Bolts Pilipinas slay the defending champion Al Riyadi, 96-63.
Canaleta was popular with his slam dunk during his early days in the PBA re-invented himself and now once of the deadliest snipers not only in Philippine Basketball Association but also in the 2018 FIBA Asia Champions Cup.
The game was close after the last buzzer of the opening quarter then on the second period, Bolts defense got intensified and clampped down their opponent’s scorers. While Al Riyadi unable to find the bottom of the rim it was opposite for Meralco.
KG Canaleta drilled back-to-back three-pointers and that was probably the turning point of the game. The momentum went to Meralco’s side and coach Norman Black’s team never looked back.
Canaleta who was scoreless against Japan Alvark Tokyo broke out and logged 18 points with 4-of-6 from the three-point area.
Those two early losses of the Bolts will be considered like a nightmare for them as they will be now heading to a semi-finals round.
Prior to their game against Lebanon, Meralco needs to win and should have a +11 margin to qualify to the next round. Probably that should sound impossible earlier considering that they’re winless and will be playing against the defending champion.
However, team Philippines defy the odds and won the game via a blowout.
Unlike in their game against Japan where locals rely heavily to their imports, against Lebanon they took their part and their offense no longer looks predictable.
Garvo Lanete is the leading local scorer who registered 20 points while Anjo Caram added 11 markers.
Caram pesky defense against Lebanon’s shifty guard and import Mark Lyons was one of the reasons why Sporting Al Riyadi couldn’t setup their offensive flow.
Meralco will be playing against Iran Petrochimi in the semis scheduled on Monday.
Philippines vs Lebanon Box Score
Quarters: 23-26 | 26 – 7 | 23-16 | 24-14
Meralco Bolts (96) – Atkins 4, Durham 10, Tolomia 3, Salva 2, Amer 8, Canaleta 18, Lanete 20, Caram 11, Stone 20
Al Riyadi (63) – El Kaissi 4, Kodsi 2, Lyons 14, El Nour 7, Saoud 9, El Khatib 2, Akl 3, Ziade, 3 Bawji 19