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PBA: Meralco spoils Danny Ildefonso’s return, Franklin’s 57-point outing

Meralco eked out a 132-129 OT win over Converge in an emotionally-charged PBA Governors’ Cup encounter, Friday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts almost suffered the ramifications of a heated altercation between Allein Maliksi and Barkley Ebona that saw the veteran gunner choke the young big man as he clearly didn’t like the duty foul given up by the latter,

He was assessed with an F2 infraction that led to an outright ejection while Ebona got called for an F1, indeed a tough situation for the MVP Group-owned team as they were clinging to just a two-point lead, 130-128, at that time.

Fortunately for the crew, Anjo Caram sank both of his free throws to make it a four-point spread. It marked the FiberXers’ end as Jeron Teng only split his foul shots, and Jerrick Balanza’s triple got blocked by KJ McDaniels as time expired.

“The cooler heads prevailed in that situation, and the referees controlled it. It turned out OK for us,” said head coach Norman Black.

McDaniels finished with 33 points and 12 rebounds, while Aaron Black reset his career-high to 28 points alongside eight boards and five assists to lead Meralco, who’s now overtaken Converge at no. 5 in the standings (6-4).

Cliff Hodge had 18 points, Raymond Almazan tallied a conference-high 16 points, while Bong Quinto made 12 markers in the win.

Maliksi also scored 12 before the ejection, including the go-ahead triple for a 130-128 lead with only 34 seconds left in the game.

Now, Meralco looks forward to its meeting versus Phoenix Super LPG on Sunday, hoping to boost its Top Four aspirations.

#ReadMore  Raymond Almazan looking to regain timing as he returns from ankle injury

“We have to win our last game against Phoenix to even be in the running for it, but at least we still have a chance,” Black said.

The Bolts wasted the explosive performance of Jamaal Franklin, who led Converge (6-4) with 57 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists in likely the only 50-point triple-double in PBA history, per league stats chief Fidel Mangonon III.

Put to naught as well by the defeat was the comeback of Danny Ildefonso, who left retirement to join the team for the rest of the conference.

The Scores:

Meralco 132 – McDaniels 33, Black 28, Hodge 18, Almazan 16, Quinto 12, Maliksi 12, Newsome 11, Caram 2, Banchero 0, Jose 0.

Converge 129 – Franklin 57, Ahanmisi 24, Racal 14, Stockton 9, Tratter 7, Balanza 6, Tolomia 5, Arana 4, Teng 3, Ildefonso 0, Ebona 0.

Quarterscores: 30-22, 62-55, 83-92, 121-121, 132-129.

Written By

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

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