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Tiebreaker Times

Basketball

PBA: Newsome injury dampens Meralco win over Phoenix


Meralco survived Phoenix, 82-76, to keep its quarterfinal hopes alive in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup, Friday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Baskets by Allein Maliksi and Chris Banchero plus free throws by Bong Quinto in the final seconds enabled the Bolts to overcome the gritty Fuel Masters’ comeback bid on the way to laying their two-game losing skid to rest.

“That team has no quit in them. We’re both down in the team standings right now so every game is important. Both teams have their backs against the wall, something’s gonna give,” head coach Luigi Trillo said.

Aaron Black led Meralco with a game-high 18 points, four rebounds, and the same amount of rebounds in the victory that hiked their record to 4-5.

Meralco, however, could hardly celebrate the win as main man Chris Newsome appeared to have suffered a knee injury with 19.4 seconds left to play after contact with opposing forward Javee Mocon.

Newsome had to be carried by his teammates to the bench, leaving the game with 15 points, six rebounds, and three assists in 37 minutes.

“We’re going to have it checked first. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious. He said he felt something. Until we have something conclusive from the MRI, maybe we’ll only find it out tomorrow and then we play Sunday,” said Trillo.

Banchero finished with 14 points, while Maliksi supplied 13, spiked by three triples, off the bench for the Bolts, which are at no. 8 in the and will try to beat Magnolia (April 28) and San Miguel (May 4) to clinch a quarters spot.

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“Both games, we need to win if we want to enter the top six. Alam naman natin na if we get into the top six, I think it’s a best-of -three. It’s there for us. It’s not going to be easy,” said the champion bench tactician.

Kenneth Tuffin, meanwhile, made 14 points to lead Phoenix, who absorbed its second loss in a row and remained at no. 11 with a 3-7 card.

The Fuel Masters will try to win against the struggling Blackwater on May 4, Saturday, 3 p.m. at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig, hoping that garnering four wins would be enough to tie for one of the last playoff spots.

The Scores:

Meralco 82 – Black 18, Newsome 15, Banchero 14, Maliksi 13, Hodge 6, Caram 6, Bates 4, Almazan 3, Quinto 3, Pasaol 0, Torres 0, Pascual 0.

Phoenix 76 – Tuffin 14, Salado 12, Jazul 9, Rivero 9, Mocon 7, Garcia 6, Perkins 5, Muyang 4, Verano 4, Alejandro 3, Soyud 3, Daves 0, Camacho 0.

Quarterscores: 24-21, 34-38, 60-53, 82-76.

Written By

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


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