Heroes were plenty as Meralco came from behind and stunned Magnolia in overtime, 109-104, in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, Tuesday at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in Pampanga.
Chris Newsome hit a fallaway jumper with 9.5 seconds left to play to make it a three-point lead for the Bolts, practically sealing the deal and saving the fourth-quarter efforts of young guns Trevis Jackson and Aaron Black.
The five-year-pro out of Ateneo de Manila atoned for the shot he missed late in regulation that could’ve won it for Meralco. He finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in the victory that hiked their card to 2-2.
“We had a really good chance to win it in regulation, we missed a foul shot and then we committed a foul, gave up two foul shots to tie the game. But I told the players that, ‘Hey, we’re in overtime, so we still have a chance to win the game, let’s just go out and win it. Let’s not worry about what just happened. Let’s just focus on what’s in front of us,'” said Coach Norman Black.
The younger Black, Meralco’s second-round pick in last year’s draft, had his finest outing yet with 16 points, four rebounds, and four assists as he logged in 35 minutes. Jackson, meanwhile, chimed in 10 markers.
Impactful indeed were the two. With the Bolts staring at a 10-point deficit with barely a minute into the fourth quarter, Black supplied five points in a 12-2 scoring spree that tied things up at 79-all with 7:08 remaining.
And when the Hotshots regained the upper hand and held a five-point lead with 1:54 on the clock, Jackson buried back-to-back three-pointers to give the Bolts a 91-90 lead with 57.2 seconds to go.
The sophomore guard again put his side on the driver’s seat through a split from the foul line with 15 seconds left, but Nard Pinto accidentally fouled Paul Lee seconds later. The latter sank his own freebies to tie the game.
Newsome had the chance to win it for Meralco but he was defended well by veteran guard Mark Barroca, and his jumper missed as time expired. He made sure, though, that it won’t happen again in overtime.
With the Orangemen down by a solitary point, Newsome buried a triple to give them a 102-100 lead with 2:10 left. That lead would expand to four after Cliff Hodge made a perfect trip to the line moments later.
Magnolia, still, would not go down without a fight, and a Barroca one-hander narrowed the gap to a point once more. But then, Newsome managed to make the tough shot from the baseline to make it 107-104 with 9.5 ticks left.
“I just tried to focus on staying present and dealing with the situation at hand, not really thinking about what happened before, or after,” said Newsome, who scored eight points in the extra period.
Lee tried to save his Hotshots just like what he had done in the past, but to no avail. Raymond Almazan was fouled afterward in an attempt to freeze the clock but he made his foul shots to knock Magnolia out once and for all.
“it was a great team effort. We had a lot of guys take big shots. Our rookie, AB, hit some big shots; Trevis Jackson hit some really really big shots, so you definitely gotta give credit to the rest of the team,” lauded Newsome.
Magnolia’s loss wasted the big night of Lee, who poured 32 points, spiked by six treys. The loss, moreover, was the Hotshots’ second in a row, thus dropping to 2-2 in the standings.
Barroca had 17 points, Chris Banchero and Jio Jalalon each made 13 points, while Jackson Corpuz added 12 for Magnolia, who were without Ian Sangalang and Rome Dela Cruz reportedly due to injuries.
Both squads will get back to action on Friday, Oct. 23. Meralco looks to make it back-to-back versus the struggling NLEX at 4:00 p.m., as Magnolia aims to stop its skid versus Phoenix Super LPG at 6:45 p.m.
Meralco (109) – Newsome 23, Black 16, Hodge 12, Hugnatan 11, Jackson 10, Quinto 8, Almazan 8, Maliksi 8, Jamito 8, Pinto 4, Amer 1, Faundo 0, Jose 0, Salva 0, Caram 0.
Magnolia (104) – Lee 32, Barroca 17, Jalalon 13, Banchero 13, Corpuz 12, Melton 6, Reavis 4, Pascual 4, Dionisio 3, Sangalang 0, Calisaan 0, Dela Rosa 0, Abundo 0, Saitanan 0.
Quarterscores: 19-25, 46-46, 67-73, 94-94, 109-104.