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Meralco escapes with an overtime victory over Blackwater

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Once again the Meralco Bolts had to go through overtime to defeat their opponents. Blackwater overcame a 16-point deficit to tie the game and force overtime, but they were unable to maintain the pressure, as they eventually fell, 83-75. Cliff Hodge led the Bolts with 26 points and 18 rebounds. Meanwhile, Alex Nuyles was one of the main factors for Blackwater forcing overtime with 14 points and 6 assists.

Meralco went hot early on, with hodge and Rey Guevarra each scoring on back-to-back baskets, going on a 11-0 run to take an 18-8 lead. The Elites were able to cut the lead to 6 to end the quarter, 26-20.

Meralco was able to push their lead to double-digits once more when Gary David connected on a jumper, Sean Anthony completed a wily euro-step lay-up, followed by a Hodge reverse, his 16th point of the game, to give Meralco an 11-point lead, 36-25. Blackwater’s Bryan Faundo cut the lead momentarily with a jumper, but was answered immediately by newcomer Danny Ildefonso’s own jumper. Nuyles was fouled on an attempt, making just 1 out of 2 freethrows, followed by a mid-range shot to cut the lead to 8. Guevarra pushed the lead to 10 once again on an amazing fastbreak dunk. Faundo and Ildefonso traded baskets once again, with Guevarra scoring on another fastbreak basket, his 9th point of the game, to give his team a 12-point lead at the half, 44-32.

The third quarter was a disaster for Blackwater. Meralco pounded the rock as they went on a 10-4 run to lead by 18 points, 54-36, the biggest lead of the game. Blackwater was able to cut at the lead, albeit slightly, to end the quarter down 14, 61-47.

For Blackwater, the fourth quarter was the polar opposite of their third. They managed to pick up their defense, forcing Meralco to commit turnovers and bad shots. Down 67-53, Nuyles and Paul Artadi went on a 10-0 tear to get their team within 4 points, 67-63. A Hodge jumper ended the Blackwater run, but back-to-back Nuyles jumpers brought the game to a 1-possession game, 69-67 for Meralco. Things started heating up when Eddie Laure committed a flagrant-1 foul, giving Meralco 2 freethrows and possession of the ball. Anthony managed to hit 1 of the freethrows, giving his team a 3-point lead, 70-67. A Bambam Gamalinda 3 with 14.8 seconds to go tied the game at 70-all, eventually forcing overtime for both teams.

Gamalinda was the first to score during overtime, giving his team a 72-70 lead. This was short-lived, however, for his shot would be the last field goal of the game for Blackwater. Meralco then went on an 8-0 run, with John Wilson scoring on back-to-back 3 pointers, his first baskets of the game, to give his team a 78-72 lead. Nuyles was given an opportunity to cut into the lead as he was fouled on a 3-point attempt, but he was only able to make 1 out of three. Wilson went on to score 3 more points, followed by a Hodge putback that gave their team a 10-point lead, 83-73. With the game clock winding down, Artade attacked the basket, getting fouled in the process. He was able to make both freethrows, but his team still lost, 83-75.

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