Ross’ late free throws lift Meralco over Air21

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Reynel Hugnatan vs Nonoy Baclao. Nuki Sabio/PBA

MANILA, Philippines—Meralco overcame Michael Dunigan’s big night to nip Air21, 89-88, Wednesday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Chris Ross drew a foul and made two free throws with 11.9 seconds left that set the final count.

Import Eric Dawson unleashed 35 points, including a basket underneath that cut the Express’ lead to one, 88-87, with 43.7 ticks remaining.

The Bolts, who improved to 3-3, lost a huge lead as the Express rallied behind Dunigan’s 40 points.

Ross only scored six points but dished out 12 assists and had five steals.

Air21, which trailed, 42-60, midway through the third period, suffered its fifth loss in six games.

The scores:

MERALCO 89 – Dawson 35, Salvacion 18, Cardona 11, Hugnatan 8, Ross 6, Hodge 4, Buenafe 3, Manuel 2, Reyes 2, Artadi 0.

AIR 21 88 – Dunigan 40, Isip 13, Canaleta 7, Custodio 6, Omolon 6, Ritualo 5, Cortez 4, Arboleda 3, Sena 2, Menor 2, Atkins 0, Wilson 0, Baclao 0.

Quarters: 26-19, 49-35, 74-64, 89-88

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