MANILA, Philippines—Eric Dawson put up monster numbers and Meralco held off powerhouse Talk N’ Text, 99-92, Saturday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Dawson sizzled with 37 points, and registered 14 rebounds, two assists, two steals and four blocks for the Bolts, who squandered an 18-point lead but still hung on to win.
“He understands he needs to do for our team to be successful,” said head coach Ryan Gregoio of the versatile Dawson.
Ronjay Buenafe came in second best in scoring with 19 points for Meralco, which recently underwent changes in its roster and lost top scorer Sol Mercado.
Chris Ross had two points but hauled down nine board and dished out eight dimes.
Mark Cardona, who added 16 points, made it a 42-24 lead in the second quarter—their biggest lead—as the Bolts banked on a blistering 27-point opening period.
But the Texters, after drawing all but two points from Keith Benson in the first quarter, quickly went back in the game before halftime.
Talk N’ Text tied the game twice in the third quarter, but never got the taste of the lead as Meralco always found a way to keep its distance.
Benson finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds, Jimmy Alapag added 18 points and five assists and Jayson Castro had 17 points but did not play in the second half.