PBA: Meralco bounces back, stifles Alaska
MANILA, Philippines — Meralco redeemed itself with a masterful 93-81 win over Alaska for its first win in the PBA Philippine Cup at AUF Sports Arena & Cultural Center in Pampanga.
After an atrocious debut in the bubble last Monday, the Bolts bounced back with a solid effort on both ends of the floor led by Allein Maliksi and Baser Amer.
Maliksi scored a team-high 17 points on an efficient 6-of-9 shooting from the field while Amer delivered timely baskets in the fourth quarter to finish with 15 points as the Bolts never trailed.
Amer went on a personal 8-0 run to keep Alaska at bay after the Aces pulled within nine with 6:52 remaining.
The 28-year-old point guard, who struggled in the Bolts’ 116-98 loss to Phoenix, hit his last 3-pointer of the night to extend the lead to 17, 85-68, with 5:18 left.
With center Raymond Almazan still groping for form, Meralco drew big plays from veteran big man Reynel Hugnatan, who nearly had a double-double with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Almazan, who suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee during the Governors’ Cup Finals last January, returned for the Bolts but played less than 10 minutes and had five points and five rebounds.
Jeron Teng paced Alaska, which fell to 0-2, with 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field.