Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times

Basketball

PBA: Top Four picture shaping up as Meralco sends Phoenix to the brink


Meralco clobbered Phoenix Super LPG, 109-90, to secure a Top Four finish in the 2021-22 PBA Governors’ Cup, Friday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts exploded in the third quarter and never let up since, becoming the third team after top seed Magnolia and NLEX to clinch a coveted twice-to-beat advantage for the quarterfinals that should roll next week.

Finalists in the season-ending conference’s previous edition, the MVP ball club ended its elimination round run with a 7-4 card to get the fourth seed.

“The win is really important because we lost the last three games and of course when you’re losing, your confidence takes a hit,” said coach Norman Black as his side lost its last three matches to Alaska, Magnolia, and San Miguel.

“So we really had to try to rebuild our confidence going into this game today knowing that we would have a twice-to-beat advantage if we won despite the fact we had lost three straight,” added the champion mentor.

Tony Bishop led Meralco with 35 points in his first 30-point outing since dropping 34 last February 17 in a loss to NorthPort. The Panamanian forward also collected 13 rebounds, five assists, and three steals.

Allein Maliksi fired 27 points off the bench for his best scoring performance since dropping 32 markers in a loss to Alaska last February 26. He shot 9-of-16 from the floor, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.

The two scored 10 each in the third, spearheading the Bolts’ fiery assault that saw them open the quarter with a 17-1 run for a 73-56 lead with 6:47 left. Their cushion inflated to as big as 22, 85-63, late in the period.

#ReadMore  Gilas' Final 12 close to being complete, says Yeng Guiao

Meralco scored a total of 32 points in the said chapter as it took advantage of Phoenix’s offensive woes. The Fuel Masters only manufactured 13.

“Just remember the last couple of games where we had big leads in the third quarter and we lost them because we either got into foul trouble or we didn’t play any defense,” said Black of their third quarter showing. “Just to focus, stay aggressive offensively, play smart on defense, and just to make sure we didn’t keep stopping the clock because of fouls. Tonight, I thought we did a better job of that in the third quarter.”

Veteran bruiser Cliff Hodge contributed 14 points and eight rebounds, while Bong Quinto added 11 markers for Meralco.

Meanwhile, Du’vaughn Maxwell led Phoenix with 26 points and 12 rebounds in the loss that brought the team to a precarious position.

The defeat dropped the Fuel Masters to 5-6, and would need NorthPort to lose to TNT later to forge a playoff for the eighth spot on Sunday.

RJ Jazul made 16 points. Matthew Wright only had 13 points on 19 shots, while Jason Perkins and Jansen Rios added 12 and 11 markers, respectively.

The Scores:

Meralco 109 – Bishop 35, Maliksi 27, Hodge 14, Quinto 11, Banchero 8, Newsome 7, Black 3, Almazan 2, Pasaol 2, Belo 0, Canete 0, Caram 0.

Phoenix 90 – Maxwell 26, Jazul 16, Wright 13, Perkins 12, Rios 11, Manganti 5, Garcia 4, Demusis 3, Melecio 0, Salva 0, Porter 0.

Quarterscores: 37-28, 56-55, 88-68, 109-90.

#ReadMore  Champions Cup rep Meralco romps Terrific 12-bound iECO in tune-up

All PBA games stream live on GigaPlay. Download it now on Android or IOS.

The second game of each playdate is also livestreamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

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


You May Also Like

Basketball

ANTIPOLO – NLEX took down Meralco in a physical affair, 90-75, for its third win in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup, Saturday at the...

Basketball

Magnolia did not have its star duo but that hardly mattered as it handed Phoenix Super LPG a harsh 95-77 beatdown to register its...

Basketball

ANTIPOLO – Raymar Jose could be seen sporting a much leaner frame now and that’s thanks hugely to the influence of Meralco’s elder statesman....

Basketball

ANTIPOLO – Raymond Almazan missed Meralco’s PBA Philippine Cup match versus NorthPort Thursday as he got placed under health protocols. Bolts head coach Norman...

Basketball

ANTIPOLO – Meralco waylaid NorthPort, 97-87, for its third win in the PBA Philippine Cup Thursday night at the Ynares Center here. Allein Maliksi...

Basketball

One of the 25 greatest players in league history who successfully transitioned to public service serves as the special guest of honor in the...

Basketball

Chot Reyes capped his return from a coaching sabbatical in the PBA on a historic note. The flamboyant mentor was named by the PBA...

Basketball

It felt surreal for Javee Mocon to go up against the ball club where it all began as Phoenix Super LPG battled Rain or...

Advertisement