Allein Maliksi and Raymond Almazan made the big baskets as Meralco sneaked past San Miguel, 92-89, in the PBA On Tour on Saturday at the Tiaong Convention Center in Quezon.
With the Beermen ahead by a point after Jericho Cruz’s floater, Bong Quinto gave the Bolts the lead with his own deuce. Then Maliksi punched in a jumper and a triple for the 90-84 advantage with 2:44 left.
Rodney Brondial got two points back for San Miguel with a layup. However, Almazan answered back at the 1:12 mark to keep Meralco afloat, 92-86.
Cruz tried to will the Beermen back with a quick response on the other end. But with 33 seconds remaining, he split his free throws that put the scoreline at 92-89.
Quinto then missed his shot on the other end with 10 ticks left to give San Miguel one more chance to tie the game. Off a timeout, though, Allyn Bulanadi flunked his three-point try.
Maliksi unloaded 21 points on 5-of-10 shooting from deep to spearhead the Bolts offense while Quinto chipped in 19 points of his own.
Almazan was solid with 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Anjo Caram was steady as a facilitator with seven assists to go with his 11 points.
The Beermen saw all their five starters score double digits led by Cruz’s 19 points and the duo of Marvin Lee and Bulanadi tallying 18 points apiece.
Mo Tautuaa was all over with 12 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, while Brondial added 14 points, nine rebounds, and five assists for San Miguel.
The Beermen did not have Terrence Romeo, John Apacible, and Chester Saldua who all played last game.
Meralco rose to 3-1 while sending the Beermen to their second straight defeat at 2-2.
Both squads will have a full week of rest before jumping back to action on June 18 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Bolts will face Terrafirma at 5 p.m. while San Miguel meets Converge at 7:30 PM.
Meralco 92 – Maliksi 21, Quinto 19, Almazan 14, Caram 11, Pascual 8, Pasaol 5, Rios 4, Jose 3, Johnson 3, Hodge 2, Torres 2
San Miguel 89 – Lee 18, Bualandi 18, Cruz 18, Brondial 14, Tautuaa 12, Saldua 6, Lazarte 2, Faundo 0, Baclao 0
Quarterscores: 25-24, 47-46, 69-73, 92-89