Top seed Meralco beats Mahindra behind Hodge | Inquirer Sports

Top seed Meralco beats Mahindra behind Hodge

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 06:02 PM April 03, 2016

Tristan Tamayo/

Tristan Tamayo/

Meralco shone brightly in the final period as it thwarted an upset-seeking Mahindra side, 94-86, Sunday in the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Down 86-81 with 3:37 left in the fourth, the Bolts switched their clutch switch on and went on an electrifying 13-0 run to close out the Enforcers and take a 7-2 record, the best in the conference so far.


Cliff Hodge had five unanswered points during Meralco’s run and he capped it off with an and-one layup with 48.1 seconds left to give them the 92-86 lead.


Bolts head coach Norman Black said they needed to shake off the holiday rust after taking a break from action for 16 days.

“I was a little concerned for this game because we didn’t play for 16 days and that’s a very long time,” Black said. “First half we were very rusty, we couldn’t get our groove and in the second quarter we played a little better.”

Meralco took a brief 45-44 lead at the end of the first half but the Enforcers muscled their way in the third and took a commanding 70-60 advantage.

Black added they had to change their offensive scheme and move away from the post with Arinze Onuaku and use the pick-and-roll with Chris Newsome instead.

“We had a very difficult time scoring against their post defense,” Black said. “We had to change our offensive philosophy from attacking in the post to using the pick-and-roll.”

Hodge had a game-high 25 points to go along 11 rebounds to lead Meralco while Onuaku had 16 points and 17 boards.


Newsome had a near double-double of 15 points and nine rebounds while Reynel Hugnatan added 13 points.

Augustus Gilchrist had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Enforcers (4-5).

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TAGS: 2016 Commissioner's Cup, Cliff Hodge, Mahindra Enforcers, Meralco Bolts, PBA

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