Bolts’ decisive finishing kick keys 6th win in 7 tiffs
MERALCO stepped it up in the clutch to pull away late and deal Blackwater a 102-91 beating in an Easter Sunday showcase of the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum yesterday.
Jared Dillinger scored a team-high 21 points, while Alex Stepheson added 18 for the Bolts.
It was a nip-and-tuck battle for most part of the game until Meralco blasted Blackwater in the game’s final seven minutes.
It was tied at 84 with over seven minutes remaining when the Bolts unleashed a decisive finishing kick, ending the game with an emphatic 18-7 bomb to put the Elite away.
The Bolts earned their second straight victory and kept their second place standing, improving to 6-1.
More importantly, they moved a win closer to securing a berth in the quarterfinals.
On the other hand, the Elite fell to 1-5, tied for 10th, its chances of making the top eight becoming more bleak with this loss.
Kelly Nabong was adjudged Best Player of the Game with his 13 points on 6 of 8 shooting and 9 rebounds.
“Defense really got us to the point where we are at now,” said Nabong.
As of this report, San Miguel Beer (2-0), the league’s only unbeaten team, is taking on another top-tier team in Star (4-1) at the moment.
MERALCO 102 - Dillinger 21, Stepheson 18, Newsome 14, Nabong 13, Amer 12, Hugnanatn 9, Daquioag 7, Yeo 4, Chua 4, Uyloan 0, Caram 0.
BLACKWATER 91 - Smith 19, Digregorio 16, Canaleta 14, Pascual 8, Pinto 7, Sena 7, Cruz 5, Aguilar 5, Buenafe 5, Cervantes 3, Miranda 2, Sumang 0.
Quarterscores: 22-24, 44-48, 72-80, 102-91.
4:15 p.m. – San Miguel Beer vs Mahindra
7:00 p.m. – NLEX vs Barangay Ginebra