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Melton shines on both ends for Magnolia – plays D on Murphy, hits crucial 3

Melton shines on both ends for Magnolia – plays D on Murphy, hits crucial 3

JUSTIN Melton readily accepted the role of defending new San Miguel import Kevin Murphy in Sunday’s PBA Governors’ Cup game.

For most of Magnolia’s 109-108 win over San Miguel, Melton was assigned to guard Murphy, San Miguel’s new import who has picked in the second round by the Utah Jazz in the 2012 draft.

“Excited. I wanted it,” said Melton. “I wanted it since yesterday when we watched film. I like that challenge. I take pride in my defense. Any type of challenge like Murphy, I’m with it.”

Murphy had an impressive debut for San Miguel on Sunday when he finished with 37 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists. Still, Melton felt Magnolia did a good job on defense against him especially in the later goings when Murphy missed a shot that would have given San Miguel some distance.

“He is an awesome offensive player. We kinda try and figure him out on the run. We didn’t have a lot of information before he came out here. Talented, hats off to him. We had to throw a lot of bodies at him. Kinda wear him out a bit. It worked out towards the end,” said Melton.

“He can go both ways, inside and outside so you got to kinda pick and choose, make him uncomfortable a bit. But even then, you saw it, he hit tough shots with a hand in his face. Again, hats off to him. But the key was to wear him down and make him uncomfortable,” he added.

Melton also played the hero’s role for Magnolia in the match. Down by four points, Melton buried a triple to cut Magnolia’s deficit to one point, 108-107.

“That’s instinct. Romeo (Travis) threw a great pass and I was open. I let it go,” Melton said.

Melton said the victory over San Miguel was big in their chances of going deep into the conference. Magnolia now sits in second place alongside Blackwater with a 4-1 win-loss slate.

Huge. San Miguel is a powerhouse team. We will see them again. They are definitely going to bounce back. They are a championship team. They will definitely bounce back,” said Melton.