Meralco atoned for its sorry loss two nights ago through a 95-83 conquest of TNT in Game 4 to push their 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup semis series to the limit, Saturday at Ynares Center, Antipolo.
The Bolts overcame a sluggish start and gained the upper hand in the second frame. It stayed in front since then and then pulled away late in the game en route to the 12-point victory.
“I’m proud of the way my players responded tonight under pressure. We were in a do-or-die situation, and if we lost we were going home,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black.
Two-time Best Import Allen Durham showed the way for Meralco with 36 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists.
Baser Amer finished with 12 points, seven assists, and four steals, while Chris Newsome fell short of a double-double as he chimed in 10 markers and nine boards in the win.
“A lot of people did not want to lose tonight led by Allen Durham. It looked like he was very productive tonight for us. Everybody contributed on offense, but more so on the offense,” Black said.
Meralco actually fell behind early as TNT scored 15 straight points for a 17-4 start into the match, but it picked up steam afterward and eventually got into the driver’s seat in the second period.
Newsome’s triple put his side up, 44-42, with 3:11 on the clock. Momentum then shifted the Bolts’ way since.
The Orangemen applied the finishing touches come the final frame. From a slim five-point lead, Durham and Amer led a mini 6-0 spurt to for an 86-75 advantage with 5:26 remaining.
“Now we can look forward to a knockout game on Monday,” said Black. “Now we just have to figure out what to do in Game Five and how we can adjust to make sure we can get a victory.”
Import KJ McDaniels had 26 points and nine rebounds to lead TNT.
The winner-take-all Game Five is on Monday, December 23, 7:00 p.m. still at the Ynares Center.
Meralco 95 – Durham 36, Amer 12, Newsome 10, Almazan 8, Maliksi 8, Quinto 7, Faundo 4, Hodge 4, Pinto 4, Caram 2, Jose 0, Jamito 0.
TNT 83 – McDaniels 26, Rosario 15, Castro 14, Parks 11, Pogoy 11, Reyes 3, De Leon 2, Semerad 1, Digregorio 0, Williams 0, Vosotros 0.
Quarterscores: 18-24, 51-45, 73-68, 95-83.