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PBA: Bong Quinto takes charge in endgame as Meralco weathers Terrafirma rally, arrests skid

Meralco came from behind and frustrated Terrafirma, 86-83, to go .500 in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Bong Quinto nailed the go-ahead triple for the 82-81 edge with 1:59 left to play, and then made sure that they’d remain in the lead the rest of the way.

The win let the team follow up their big win over Ginebra last March 15.

“Hats off to Terrafirma. They’re playing really well and nahirapan talaga kami doon. We just had to gut it out,” said head coach Luigi Trillo.

Quinto finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. And his stability down the stretch saved the efforts of those who helped bring the crew back into the game after being down by as many as 11 points during the third quarter.

Norbert Torres produced 15 points and five rebounds. Meanwhile, Raymond Almazan supplied 14 points and four boards in the win that hiked their record to 3-3.

Torres scored five points in the crucial 9-0 run that gave Meralco the 76-71 lead with 6:18 remaining in the final period.

That got the team in rhythm to eventually complete the comeback.

Torres providing the surprise spark was indeed key on a night that top gunner Allein Maliksi was held to just six points on 2-of-11 field-goal shooting.

“What we needed to do was to get these guys thinking that we believe in these guys to make good decisions and not only Bong,” offered the veteran bench tactician. “Heroes all around for us, I think, in this game.”

Meralco will try to make it three straight wins against TNT in a clash of MVP teams on Sunday, April 7, 3:00 PM, at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

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Stephen Holt and Juami Tiongson, meanwhile, finished with 20 points apiece to lead Terrafirma.

The Dyip fell to 3-3 as well following the loss.

Holt himself tried to save the Dyip when he gave them the 81-79 lead with 2:19 to go, only to be foiled by the Bolts’ response led by Quinto.

Javi Gomez de Liano and Aldrech Ramos had 11 apiece for Terrafirma, who will try to bounce back against Ginebra also on Sunday at 6:15 PM.

The Scores:

Meralco 86 – Quinto 18, Torres 15, Almazan 14, Black 7, Mendoza 7, Newsome 7, Banchero 6, Maliksi 6, Hodge 4, Pascual 2, Jose 0, Rios 0.

Terrafirma 83 – Tiongson 20, Holt 20, Gomez de Liano 11, Ramos 11, Sangalang 6, Go 4, Camson 4, Carino 4, Cahilig 3, Mina 0, Calvo 0, Alolino 0.

Quarterscores: 19-25, 39-46, 63-65, 86-83.

Written By

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

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