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Mike Tolomia shines as Meralco gives RDO fitting welcome with Alaska drubbing

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Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Mike Tolomia shines as Meralco gives RDO fitting welcome with Alaska drubbing Basketball News PBA  Vic Manuel Ranidel De Ocampo PBA Season 42 Norman Black Mike Tolomia Meralco Bolts LaDontae Henton JVee Casio Baser Amer Allen Durham Alex Compton Alaska Aces 2017 PBA Governors Cup

Rookie Mike Tolomia was the spark 3that the Meralco Bolts needed off the bench to lord over the Alaska Aces, 106-78, and to give new acquisition Ranidel De Ocampo a perfect welcome, Friday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts have now improved to 7-2, tied with Barangay Ginebra at the top of the 2017 Governor’s Cup standings. The Aces, meanwhile, saw the end of their three-game streak and are now 3-7, making their playoff chances slimmer.

The 24-year-old Gilas Cadet, who had been acquired by Meralco early in the season-ending conference from a trade with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, sizzled for a career-high 24 points — 17 coming from the first half that saw him nail five triples.

“Mike Tolomia was great today,” lauded Meralco coach Norman Black of his point guard, who shot 8-of-9 from the field. “He’s gonna get an opportunity with us, since he didn’t get that much in Rain or Shine since they have a lot of guards.”

But on top of Tolomia and the win that brought them closer to the twice-to-beat edge, it was the debut of the 35-year-old De Ocampo that highlighted Meralco’s Friday night. The six-time champ scored 10 in his first game as a Bolt.

“It was an interesting week, getting Ranidel in the middle of the week and teaching him the system for three days,” said Black of the veteran forward. “He’ll bring a lot of talent and experience, and that will help us down the stretch.”

From a slow start that saw them trail 10-16 in the opening frame, the Bolts clicked and started to pull away come the second quarter. Allen Durham’s perfect charities gave Meralco a 26-point edge, 58-32, with 37 seconds left.

The Aces rallied strong in the third canto and closed within 12, 71-59, after Calvin Abueva’s split, but Meralco was just too much to handle. Tolomia’s step-back trey gave them a 100-75 lead with 3:18 in the final period.

The Orangemen posted the game’s biggest lead at 31, 106-75, after Kelly Nabong’s triple with less than 57 seconds left to play.

Durham top-billed for Meralco with 26 points, 18 rebounds, and six assists. Baser Amer supplied 17 markers on 60 percent shooting from the floor.

LaDontae Henton paced the Milkmen with 23 points and 10 rebounds. JVee Casio produced 18 on 14 shots, while forward Vic Manuel chipped in 10. Abueva nearly had a double-double with eight points and 10 caroms.

Meralco will look to clinch the win-once incentive versus the Globalport Batang Pier next Friday, September 22, 7:00 PM at the Mall of Asia Arena. Alaska, meanwhile, will aim to bounce back versus Rain or Shine on September 20, Wednesday, 4:15 PM at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

The Scores:

Meralco 106 – Durham 26, Tolomia 24, Amer 17, Newsome 10, De Ocampo 10, Hodge 8, Lanete 5, Nabong 3, Caram 2, Atkins 0, Yeo 0, Sedurifa 0, Hugnatan 0, Faundo 0.

Alaska 78 – Henton 23, Casio 18, Manuel 10, Abueva 8, Racal 8, Enciso 3, Banchero 3, Exciminiano 2, Pascual 2, Mendoza 1, Thoss 0, Baclao 0, Galliguez 0.

Quarterscores: 28-22, 58-35, 78-59, 106-78.

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