PBA: Meralco turns back NLEX for 2nd straight win
MANILA, Philippines—Meralco got its first taste of two consecutive wins this season after holding off NLEX, 101-92, in the PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Angeles University Foundation.
The Bolts tied Alaska at the fourth spot of the standings with 3-2 records while the Road Warriors slipped to a 1-4 hole.
A quick 9-2 run in the second quarter was what Meralco needed to build its foundation heading into the deeper parts of the game with the Bolts’ offensive spurt giving them a 63-54 lead with 3:10 to play in the first half.
NLEX tried to trim away at the lead in the fourth getting to as close as two, 84-82, but the Bolts responded with a 10-3 run to take a 94-85 lead off of Chris Newsome’s three-point play with 3:50 remaining in the fourth.
Bolts head coach Norman Black said changing his defensive schemes for Newsome ultimately proved beneficial for the team.
“We’ve done a couple of things with Chris and I told him to don’t overthink things, and this is the same game that you played as a kid,” said Black. “Well I think he’s still guarding the best player of the other team, make no mistake but what I tried to do is not put him at best player of at the start of the game so he doesn’t have to worry about the defensive end of the court.”
The lighter workload allowed Newsome to be as efficient as possible finishing with 18 points, on 8-of-13 shooting, with six rebounds, six assists, one block, and one steal to lead Meralco, which had five players score at least 10.
Allein Maliksi added 17 points and six boards while Raymond Almazan and Baser added 11 points apiece with Cliff Hodge pitching in 10 points.
Kiefer Ravena lit up for 30 points and eight boards to lead the Road Warriors.
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