PBA: Meralco dominates NorthPort for third win
MANILA, Philippines–Meralco returned to its winning ways on Thursday night, picking apart NorthPort, 97-87, at Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The Bolts rode the hot hands of Allein Maliksi in the first half and then turned to Aaron Black in the second to keep the enemy at arm’s length the rest of the way.
“We just wanted to bounce back in our game against TNT. Tonight our offense flowed better and our defense held up,” said coach Norman Black, whose charges rose to 3-1 in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup.
The younger Black finished with 20 points, five rebounds, and seven assists in his first game back after a wrist injury. Chris Banchero chipped in 16 off the bench to backstop Maliksi who finished just as many points.
Raymond Almazan was out due to the league’s health protocols and the Bolts are bracing to miss him again when they play 2-2 NLEX this Saturday also at the hilltop arena.
NorthPort got the goods from Jamie Malonzo, who finished with 21 points and nine rebounds. Robert Bolick and Arwind Santos finished in double figures in the losing stand that dealt the club a third straight loss in five games.
The Batang Pier play defending champion TNT next.
MERALCO 97 – Black 20, Maliksi 16, Banchero 16, Hugnatan 11, Quinto 9, Jose 9, Newsome 7, Baclao 4, Pasaol 3, Hodge 2, Belo 0, Caram 0.
NORTHPORT 87 – Malonzo 21, Bolick 15, Santos 11, Ayaay 10, Calma 10, Balanza 9, Sumang 9, Dela Cruz 2, Apacible 0, Javier 0, Ferrer 0.
Quarterscores: 32-22, 56-37, 83-61, 97-87.
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.