PBA playoffs: Meralco escapes Phoenix in 3OT to force do-or-die
NBA

PBA playoffs: Meralco escapes Phoenix in 3OT to force do-or-die

/ 08:00 PM January 17, 2024

Chris Newsome leads Meralco Bolts past Phoenix Fuel Masters in the PBA quarterfinals match.

Chris Newsome leads Meralco Bolts past Phoenix Fuel Masters in the PBA quarterfinals match. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–Meralco needed three overtime periods to hurdle past Phoenix and send their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal showdown to a sudden death game with a 116-107 win Wednesday at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Chris Newsome rescued the Bolts from the jaws of defeat with a game-tying three at the buzzer in regulation before Bong Quinto came through with a key three in the third extra session to prevent the Fuel Masters from succeeding in their first attempt at making the semifinals.

The Bolts, who lost to the Fuel Masters in the eliminations that eventually cost them a twice-to-beat advantage, can sneak a spot in the Final Four with another victory in Sunday’s knockout encounter at Mall of Asia Arena.

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Quinto was one of six players in double figures with 19 points while Newsome had 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Import Johnathan Williams had 24 points and 24 rebounds in 62 minutes and Tyler Tio put up 20 but Phoenix absorbed defeat despite having the lead for most of regulation play.

Meralco won despite trailing by a high of 15 and having to play catch up in the second half.

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Phoenix was ahead 84-81 with 8.2 seconds left but Newsome got Aaron Black’s pass and knocked down the tying triple at the horn.

Both teams couldn’t settle things after the first two five-minute periods, setting up the 14th overtime game in league history and the first since the 2019 Governors’ Cup knockout duel between NorthPort and NLEX.

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Quinto’s three made it 109-103 for Meralco in the third extra frame as Phoenix ran out of steam.

The scores:

MERALCO 116—Hodge 20, Quinto 19, Miller 18, Black 18, Maliksi 16, Newsome 14, Banchero 5, Almazan 2, Pascual 0, Rios 0, Caram 0.

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PHOENIX 107—Williams 24, Perkins 20, Tio 20, Tuffin 16, Jazul 13, Alejandro 6, Mocon 6, Manganti 2, Muyang 0, Soyud 0, Garcia 0, Rivero 0.

Quarters: 13-21, 39-47, 53-62, 84-84 (Reg), 95-95 (1OT), 103-103 (2OT), 116-107 (3OT).

TAGS: Meralco Bolts, PBA Commissioner's Cup

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