Meralco wins first PBA title, survives San Miguel in Game 6

Meralco Bolts PBA championship PBA Philippine Cup Finals

Meralco Bolts celebrate after winning their first-ever PBA title.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines–Call them the “Miracle Bolts.”

Against a battle-tested enemy so used to playing on a pressured-packed stage, the Bolts on Sunday stunned San Miguel, 80-78, to rule the PBA Philippine Cup.

Chris Newsome hit a fadeaway jumper with 1.3 remaining to cap Meralco’s stand at Smart Araneta Coliseum, finishing off the much-fancied defending champions in six tightly contested games.

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Allein Maliksi was just as big in the clincher, delivering 14 points to backstop Newsome’s 15 which also helped the club to its first-ever title in Asia’s pioneering pro league.

Bong Quinto had 11 points, Chris Banchero 10, Raymond Almazan nine while Cliff Hodge, Anjo Caram, and Norbert Torres pumped in six points each.

June Mar Fajardo, earlier crowned the Best Player of the Conference, tied the game at 78-all with 3.3 ticks remaining, almost willing the Beermen back and dragging the Bolts to a deciding Game 7. He finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

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CJ Perez tossed in 14 points, Marcio Lassiter 11, Mo Tautuaa 10. Terrence Romeo added nine, Don Trollano seven, and Simon Enciso five off the bench.

Sunday’s triumph marks the first time Meralco was at the basketball mountaintop since ruling the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association, a precursor of the PBA, in 1971.