Mac Cardona hit the go-ahead floater and then got away with a clear foul on Beau Belga at the buzzer that preserved a 118-116 Meralco win over Rain or Shine in overtime last night, putting the Bolts in a better playoff position in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Cardona broke the game’s last tie with 56.4 seconds left after connecting on a floater over Rain or Shine’s big men before game officials came up with the blunder of the night by failing to call a foul on him when he tried to stop Belga from three-point land.
The victory gave the Bolts a 7-7 card. They edged Barangay Ginebra in the standings via quotient, dropping the idle Kings to seventh spot and a quarterfinal duel against Rain or Shine—which owns the twice-to-beat edge.
Meralco advanced to face powerhouse San Mig Coffee in a best-of-three series starting tomorrow also at the Big Dome in Cubao. Petron Blaze and Talk ‘N Text clash in the other race-to-two affair.
The Bolts actually blew a 19-point second quarter lead and were the ones to actually forge overtime at 110 after Eric Dawson hit a short stab with 61 seconds remaining.
Rain or Shine played the final 44 minutes without coach Yeng Guiao, who got tossed out with 2:54 left in the first period because of “flagrant misconduct” after continuously arguing a call.
Meanwhile, Ginebra has acquired Barako Bull’s Josh Urbiztondo in a trade that was forwarded to the Commissioner’s Office for approval yesterday. The Gin Kings gave up rookie Keith Jensen and their second round pick in the 2015 Draft.
MERALCO 118—Dawson 50, Cardona 19, Reyes 10, Hugnatan 10, Manuel 9, Buenafe 6, Artadi 6, Salvacion 5, Hodge 3, Ross 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 116—Sundov 31, Chan 18, Lee 16, Norwood 16, Tiu 11, Cruz 9, Araña 5, Rodriguez 4, Ibañes 4, Matias 2, Belga 0, Quiñahan 0.
Quarters: 34-26, 62-48, 86-80, 110-110, 118-116
PETRON 87—Sims 22, Fajardo17, Miranda 14, Tubid 10, Santos 8, Lassiter 5, Lutz 4, Washington 3, Sison 2, Cabagnot 2, Pena 0.
TALK ‘N TEXT 76—Jordan 18, Alapag 17, De Ocampo 13, Castro 8, Dillinger 7, Reyes 5, Al-Hussaini 4, Fonacier 2, Peek 2, Raymundo 0, Gamalinda 0, Aban 0, Carey 0.
Quarters: 19-19, 37-33, 56-53, 87-76