PBA On Tour: Allein Maliksi helps Meralco fend off San Miguel
MANILA, Philippines-Allein Maliksi made key shots down the stretch to help Meralco create some separation from San Miguel Beer and eventually claim a 92-89 win in their PBA On Tour game held Saturday night in Tiaong, Quezon.
Maliksi finished with 21 points, including in a row which allowed the Bolts to take a 90-84 lead with over two minutes left in the contest played before a packed crowd at Tiaong Convention Center.
Meralco had another six-point gap at 92-86 on Raymond Almazan’s tip-in, 1:12 to go, before holding on to the victory when Jansen Rios blocked Allyn Bulanadi’s game-tying three from the corner in the dying seconds.
The Bolts won the third time in four games in the exhibition series which also serves as the team’s dress rehearsal under new coach Luigi Trillo.
Bong Quinto had 19 points, four rebounds and three assists, Almazan had 14 points and 14 rebounds while Anjo Caram produced 11 points and seven assists as he continues to take advantage of big minutes in lieu of the absences of Aaron Black, Chris Banchero and Gilas Pilipinas pool member Chris Newsome.
San Miguel lost its last two games to go 2-3 almost halfway into its On Tour campaign, spoiling an 18-point performance from Marvin Lee, who hopes to get a crack at the Beermen roster for the league’s 48th season in October.
Bulanadi also scored 18 points while Jericho Cruz topscored with 19 for a San Miguel side that came to Quezon municipality town without Terrence Romeo, who was said to be “under the weather.”
Romeo was averaging 21.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists during the On Tour.
MERALCO 92—Maliksi 21, Quinto 19, Almazan 14, Caram 11, Pascual 8, Pasaol 5, Rios 4, Jose 3, Johnson 3, Hodge 2, Torres 2.
SAN MIGUEL 89—Cruz 19, Lee 18, Bulanadi 18, Brondial 14, Tautuaa 12, Saldua 6, Lazarte 2, Baclao 0, Faundo 0.
Quarters: 25-24, 47-46, 69-73, 92-89.