The Meralco Bolts were clicking and seemingly could do nothing wrong as they conquered the San Miguel Beermen by 30 points, 111-81, in their last 2018 Governors’ Cup elims game, Saturday night at SMART Aranet Coliseum.
The Bolts finished with a 5-6 card, and the win assures them of at least a playoff for the eighth spot.
“I wasn’t really sure how we’ll play tonight. We knew we had to fight because we’re facing San Miguel, the most talented team. Basically we had to play good basketball,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black.
Allen Durham paced the Orangemen with monster numbers of 35 points, 26 rebounds, and seven assists. Reynel Hugnatan – who’s celebrating his 40th birthday today – produced 19 points, six caroms, and six dimes in 33 minutes.
“Reynel played like a youngster,” Black quipped.
The Bolts were actually down by 14, 40-26, early in the second quarter, but they came back roaring after that. They first trimmed the deficit to five, 44-49, at the break, and then went on a rampage in the second half.
From a five-point deficit early in the third chapter, Meralco unfurled an overwhelming 22-2 scoring blitz en route to a 71-56 advantage with 3:54 remaining, a lead that they would never relinquish all the way to the end.
Meralco would lead by as many as 33, late in the game.
Chris Newsome had 14 points and 12 assists, while Baser Amer made 12 points and 10 dimes in the win.
Kevin Murphy led San Miguel (6-5) with 32 points and 10 rebounds. The Beermen will be heading into the quarterfinals as the sixth seed.
Christian Standhardinger’s streak of scoring double-digits has come to an end as he only had six in the loss, but he made up for it with 18 rebounds.
Meralco 111 – Durham 35, Hugnatan 19, Newsome 14, Amer 12, Hodge 9, Canaleta 8, Salva 6, Faundo 2, Bono 0, Jamito 0, Tolomia 0.
San Miguel 81 – Murphy 32, Cabagnot 16, Santos 11, Lassiter 8, Standhardinger 6, Pessumal 5, Nabong 2, Fajardo 1, Ross 0, Rosser 0, Heruela 0, Vigil 0.
Quarterscores: 26-25, 44-49, 78-66, 111-81.
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