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PBA: Banchero lights out in return as Meralco wastes RHJ’s 48, gains joint 2nd


Chris Banchero returned with a bang as Meralco overcame the fourth-quarter fightback of TNT, 109-95, to get back on track in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup, Sunday evening at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Out in their first three games due to hamstring woes, the veteran playmaker sparked the crucial 12-1 run to help bring endgame stability to the Bolts after the Tropang Giga got to within just two, 91-89, with 6:12 left to play,

Banchero finished with 18 points, two rebounds, and four assists in 29 minutes as Meralco improved to 3-1, joining Phoenix at second in the standings.

It’s just nice to see CB back,” said head coach Luigi Trillo. “We know what he can do. It’s been a while since he’s been able to get a feel.”

Suleiman Braimoh top-scored for the Bolts with 37 points and 10 rebounds as he helped provide the finishing touches to secure the victory that brought them back on track after bowing to San Miguel Beer the last time out.

Bong Quinto had 13 points, while Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge chipped in 12 markers apiece for the depleted side, which continues to miss the services of veteran gunner Allein Maliksi and Aaron Black due to injuries.

Meralco will turn its attention to New Taipei Kings in the EASL Season 2 on November 29 in Taiwan before resuming its conference campaign versus NLEX next Sunday, December 3, also at the Philsports Arena.

Put to waste by the rally that fell short, on the other hand, was the explosion of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who had 47 points and 12 rebounds for TNT.

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RHJ was the one who brought his side to within a field goal after being down by as much as 14 points, but Banchero replied shortly after with a three-point play conversion that sparked the aforementioned run to put the game away.

Jayson Castro was the lone support the former NBA winger received as the veteran floor general finished with 19 points in the defeat.

The Tropa, which saw their two-game win streak get snapped and dropped to 2-2, will look to bounce back versus NorthPort on December 1 at Ultra as well.

The Scores:

Meralco 109 – Braimoh 37, Banchero 18, Quinto 13, Hodge 12, Newsome 12, Dario 6, Almazan 6, Bates 0Caram 5, Rios 0.

TNT 95 – Hollis-Jefferson 47, Castro 19, Khobuntin 8, K.Williams 5, Reyes 5, Oftana 4, Montalbo 3, Galinato 2, Heruela 2, Ponferrada 0, Tungcab 0, Tolomia 0.

Quarterscores: 29-21, 52-42, 80-70, 109-95

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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