Having squandered a 24-point lead in the third frame, Terrence Romeo and the rest of the GlobalPort Batang Pier managed to hang on and eliminate the cellar-dwelling Meralco Bolts, 108-104, held at the Cuneta Astrodome on Wednesday.
Meralco led by a slim 7-5 margin in the first frame, which served as their only taste of the lead for the first three quarters. Despite Chris Newsome hitting a couple of three pointers, the rest of the Bolts struggled with their perimeter shooting. On the other hand, the Batang Pier built a 9-3 run in the middle of the quarter to put up a nine-point cushion, and eventually held a four-point lead after twelve minutes.
For the first half of the next quarter, Meralco kept it close despite committing turnovers early on. After back-to-back miscues by Terrence Romeo, free throws by Caram and Dillinger sliced the lead down to a solitary point, 36-35, with 6:24 remaining. However, Batang Pier responded with a 19-9 closeout to the first half that started with their defense, while Joseph Yeo, Rico Maierhofer, and Keith Jensen teamed up for the scoring load.
The rampage carried on for GlobalPort as their energetic pace powered them to their largest lead of the match at 77-53, at the 6:12 mark of the third quarter. During the stretch, Terrence Romeo and Jay Washington combined for 13 markers, while Meralco struggled to make consecutive baskets. Fortunately for the Bolts, they sliced ten points off the lead courtesy of shots by Newsome and Faundo.
The momentum they gathered continued for the Bolts as they quickly melted the lead down to single digits within two minutes of the final quarter. With under four minutes to play, Meralco completed a 23-7 run to continue their turnaround and recapture the lead at 96-94. From that point on, the game was even more closely-contested, as Terrence Romeo hit the crucial baskets. Alapag made two big threes down the stretch to make it a one-point game, but the former FEU guard was perfect from the foul stripe, adding to the Bolts’ woes in the dying seconds.
GlobalPort finished the game plus-12 from downtown despite Meralco dominating the inside game, 48-40. In addition, they committed less errors, 15-18, and had more points off turnovers, 15-8. Romeo dropped 33 points, including 5/10 shooting from three-point territory, 8/8 from the foul stripe and three rebounds.
Pringle added 19 markers, six rebounds, and six dimes for GlobalPort. For the Bolts, six players tallied double-digit scoring, led by Alapag’s vintage performance with 18 points on 5-of-12 shooting, together with four assists.
Globalport (4th 7-3) will look to continue their three-game winning streak as they face the Mahindra Enforcers on Saturday, December 12 at 3:00pm. The Meralco Bolts (12th, 1-10) will have a week to regroup, and will face the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Wednesday, December 16 at 4:15pm.
GlobalPort (108) – Romeo 33, Pringle 19, Washington 15, Mamaril 8, Yeo 8, Kramer 7, Jensen 7, Maierhofer 6, Sumang 3, Semerad 2.
Meralco (104) – Alapag 18, Hodge 17, Newsome 13, Nabong 13, Hugnatan 12, Faundo 11, David 8, Buenafe 7, Dilinger 4, Caram 1, Amer 0.
Quarterscores: 26-22, 55-44, 87-73, 108-104.
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