Bolts clinch playoff slot, trip Energy | Inquirer Sports
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Bolts clinch playoff slot, trip Energy

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 01:51 AM April 12, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — Meralco booked a playoff seat in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after climbing out of a 22-point first half hole to eke out a 105-98 decision of Barako Bull Friday night at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

In his second game after replacing Brian Butch, Darnell Jackson scored 30 points and five locals tossed in twin digits for the Bolts, who rose to 4-4 overall and gave idle Alaska and San Mig Coffee a free ride into the next round.

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The biggest local Meralco performers for the night were Jared Dillinger and Chris Timberlake, who didn’t stop orchestrating plays even when they were down, 22-44, with 7:22 left in the second period after a Willie Wilson free throw.

Dillinger was named the game’s best player after finishing with 16 points and six rebounds, with Timberlake tossing in a career-high 12 points coming off the bench.

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“We started flat, but no one loses [a game] in the first three quarters,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio. “We played good basketball till the end. This game was simply too important for us to let it slip away.”

Josh Dollard paced the Energy with 33 points and 15 boards.

As things stand, the Energy are a loss from being eliminated and their fate no longer rests in their hands. At 2-6 and with a game to go, one victory each by Air21, Barangay Ginebra and Rain or Shine in any of their last assignments would knock Barako Bull out.

Meanwhile, the league’s board of governors will take a second look at the concessions it granted to expansion squads MPIC, Ever Bilena and KIA Motors after accepting them as new members on Thursday.

Representatives of the 10 teams will meet again on April 24 to improve the concessions  granted the three new squads to give them a better chance of coming up with competitive rosters for the next season.

The scores:

First Game

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MERALCO 105—Jackson 30, Dillinger 16, David 15, Wilson 15, Timberlake 12, Hodge 10, Hugnatan 7, Caram 0, Salvacion 0, Sena 0, Guevarra 0.

BARAKO 98—Dollard 33, Intal 12, Pennisi 12, Fortuna 11, Miller 9, Miranda 8, Wilson 7, Marcelo 3, Buenafe 3, Pena 0.

Quarters: 20-33, 42-54, 73-74, 105-98

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TAGS: Barako Bull Energy, Basketball, Jared Dillinger, Meralco Bolts, PBA, PBA Commissioner's Cup, Sports
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