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Mahindra survive Meralco in the battle of the cellar dwellars

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The Mahindra Enforces defeated the Meralco Bolts to clinch their second win in the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena. The result elevated Mahindra at 2-5 and relegated Meralco to 1-7.

Both teams started slow in the first quarter. Aldrech Ramos scored from a LA Revilla steal to give Mahindra the lead at 7-6. Cliff Hodge and Gary David then responded to swing the game at Meralco’s control at 7-10. Mahindra then put up a 9-0 run, and they led 16-10. Jimmy Alapag later scored two free throws to finish the first quarter 16-12 in favor of Mahindra.

Mahindra maintained their run early in the second quarter when a KG Canaleta turnaround jumper gifted the Enforcers a 24-19 edge. However, four straight points from Rabeh Al-Hussaini changed the game for Meralco and they led 25-27. It was see-saw basketball at that point as the score pulled level multiple times. Meralco were the happier team by halftime, as Baser Amer leveled the scores at 35-35. A Gary David trey gave the Bolts a 35-38 advantage at the end of the second quarter.

It was a similar tale in the third quarter, as Mahindra and Meralco traded baskets. The only time a lead was established was when Hodge made a three point play to lead 54-57. A shot from beyond the arc by Amer stretched Meralco’s lead to six at 56-62; the Bolts ended the third quarter with a 58-64 lead courtesy of free throws from Chris Newsome.

True to the pace of the game, Mahindra equalized as soon as the fourth quarter started courtesy of back-to-back threes from Karl Dehesa and Ramos. The two teams struggled to get an edge until a teardrop from Revilla gave Mahindra an 82-76 lead. Another teardrop from Yee granted Mahindra another six point lead, until an Atkins steal and layup gifted Meralco hope at 84-80. Two free throws from Revilla made it a six point game once again but a trey for Alapag made it 86-83. In the last few second of the game, Mahindra lost the ball and Atkins immediately called for a timeout. Alapag then tried for the three but he was blocked by Revilla for an 86-83 Mahindra win.

Ramos led Mahindra with 15 points and 9 rebounds, followed by Yee at 14. For Meralco, David led them with 18 points while Hodge made 20 rebounds.

Up next for Mahindra are the San Miguel Beermen at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on December 2, 2015 (7:00PM) while Meralco shall face the Alaska Aces the next day, same time and venue.

Scores:

Mahindra (86) – Ramos 15, Yee 14, Pascual 12, Revilla 12, Pinto 10, Canaleta 8, Guinto 5, Laure 5, Dehesa 3, Hubalde 2.

Meralco (83) – David 18, Al-Hussaini 15, Hodge 14, Alapag 10, Amer 10, Ry. Buenafe 6, Atkins 4, Newsome 4, Nabong 2.

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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