Meralco survives frantic Rain or Shine rally for 2nd straight win
MANILA, Philippines—Meralco fended off Rain or Shine’s late rally for a 85-78 win, its second straight, in the PBA Philippine Cup Thursday at Angeles University Foundation.
The Bolts are now in a fourth place tie with Phoenix as they improved to a 5-3 record while the Elasto Painters dropped their second straight game en route to a 4-3 slate.
Meralco was up comfortably, 74-51, at the end of the third before the Elasto Painters put on a clinical run that nearly got them the comeback win.
The Bolts absorbed a 25-8 run in the fourth with Norbert Torres’ three-point play putting Rain or Shine within six, 82-76, with 50 seconds to play.
Fortunately for Meralco, its lead was big enough to hold off Rain or Shine’s comeback as Chris Newsome iced the game from the stripe.
“We actually played really well in the second half except in the last five or six minutes,” said Bolts head coach Norman Black.
“Against Rain or Shine, the last seven or eight minutes of the game we sputtered. It was a big lead that we were able to win the basketball game.”
Meralco turned the ball over seven times in the fourth and were on the wrong end of a 27-11 offensive beating.
Newsome finished the game with 17 points, five rebounds, and four assists to lead the Bolts while Baser Amer had 14 points, six rebounds, and seven assists.
James Yap had 18 points and seven boards to lead Rain or Shine.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.