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PBA: Meralco averts disaster vs Terrafirma, awaits playoffs fate

Meralco outlasted Terrafirma, 109-102, to keep its twice-to-beat bid alive in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup, Friday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts squandered an 11-point third-quarter lead and trailed by six twice early in the deciding period, but Shonn Miller and team veterans came through to ensure they eluded the upset axe at the hands of the also-ran Dyip.

Miller erased the 97-94 deficit before Allein Maliksi and Cliff Hodge helped stretch their lead to 106-98 with under four minutes left, and they would remain in control the rest of the way as their foes could no longer muster another rally.

Miller led the way with 29 points and 21 rebounds, along with three rebounds and three assists as Meralco ended the eliminations with an 8-3 card. The crew has gained a share of the third spot in the team standings with San Miguel.

Now they will have to hope for Barangay Ginebra (7-3) to lose versus NLEX (4-6) on Saturday to clinch the no. 4 seed heading into the quarterfinals. The top four teams will be armed with a win-once incentive in the next round.

“It’s tough to realize now that we have to wait for Ginebra and what happens there,” said head coach Luigi Trillo postgame. “It is what it is.

“Ang sakit nun, we were tied for second. We just have to move forward. It was in our hands against Phoenix, we didn’t win that game. But I like where we are.”

Bong Quinto was instrumental in the win, too, as he finished with a season-high 20 points, including 17 in the first half, and nine rebounds.

#ReadMore  Globalport sends Alaska to eight-game skid, catches last bus to quarterfinals

Maliksi produced 15 points. Hodge and Chris Newsome provided 11 points apiece while Chris Banchero added 10 markers in the crucial victory.

Leading Terrafirma, on the other hand, was the tandem of Stephen Holt and main man Juami Tiongson as they made 26 and 21 points, respectively.

Javi Gomez de Liano was the only other double-digit scorer with 15 points for the Dyip, concluding their conference with a 2-9 record.

The Scores:

Meralco 109 – Miller 29, Quinto 20, Maliksi 15, Newsome 11, Hodge 11, Banchero 10, Black 7, Almazan 4, Bates 2, Rios 0, Caram 0, Pascual 0.

Terrafirma 102 – Holt 26, Tiongson 21, Gomez de Liano 15, De Thaey 7, Alolino 7, Sangalang 5, Calvo 5, Ramos 5, Go 3, Olivario 2, Cahilig 2, Mina 2, Camson 2, Miller 0.

Quarterscores: 30-31, 59-54, 85-87, 109-102.

Written By

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

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