BY JOSEF T. RAMOS, TMT ON JUNE 15, 2018 SPORTS
Meralco routed Blackwater, 102-75, on Friday to secure a quarterfinal ticket in Season 43 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Bolts erected an insurmountable 59-30 lead at the halftime break and were never threatened for the rest of the game.
Meralco is now sharing the third place with TNT KaTropa that is holding a similar 6-2 win-loss record.
“I thought my guys played with a lot of sense of urgency tonight, as far as having this to be a must win situation for us especially with the three-game schedule coming up,” said Meralco coach Norman Black, referring to their next games against Alaska, TNT and solo leader Rain or Shine.
“So we really want to come out and establish our defense right from the start of the game. My guys did a great job of limiting Blackwater in the first three quarters of the game. In the fourth quarter, we played a little bit relaxed and I guess that’s okay.”
Import Arinze Onuaku notched 17 points, 17 rebounds and two blocked shots. Anjo Caram sizzled with 13 points while Cliff Hodge had 12 points to lead the Bolts.
“Our bench did a very, very good job today not only they’ve maintained the lead but also increased the advantage. It’s a win that help us stay in the upper half of the standings and a win that put us in the quarterfinals,” added Black, who drew 11 and 10 points from Jared Dillinger and KG Canaleta, respectively.
Import Henry Walker scored 14 points, 13 rebounds and six assists to lead the Elite whose win-loss record dropped to 1-9.
MERALCO Bolts 102 – Onuaku 17, Caram 13, Hodge 12, Dillinger 11, Canaleta 10, Amer 9, Tolomia 6, Hugnatan 6, Newsome 4, Ballesteros 4, Sedurifa 3, De Ocampo 3, Salva 2, Baracael 2, Bono 0, Lanete 0.
BLACKWATER Elite 75 – Walker 14, Maliksi 12, Zamar 11, Sumang 10, DiGregorio 8, Al-Hussaini 7, Erram 4, Banal 2, Pinto 2, Sena 2, Palma 1, Cortez 0, Cruz 0, Javier 0.
Quarterscores: 24-15, 59-30, 79-47, 102-75.