Meralco’s fightback turned out to be too little, too late.
Doomed by their lackluster start, the Bolts surrendered a 101-86 defeat to league leader San Miguel Wednesday in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup at Cuneta Astrodome.
With the Beermen firing on all cylinders, Meralco fell behind early and faced a 31-point hole at the start of the second half, before slowly chipping away the deficit, but only getting to as close as 10, 94-84 after a pair of charities from Kelly Nabong.
Chris Ross, June Mar Fajardo, and Marcio Lassiter were quick to douse that run, though, as San Miguel ended the year on top of the standings at 5-1.
“I think the game we’ve shown tonight is the game we want. We have to be consistent. If we will be consistent in doing what we did in this game, maganda ang magiging result para sa amin,” said coach Leo Austria.
Lassiter topped the Beermen with 21 points powered by three treys, while Alex Cabagnot chipped in 20 markers on an efficient 7-of-11 shooting, to go with six rebounds and two assists before leaving the game early in the third due to a fractured nose.
Ross also had 18 points, six steals, five assists, and three boards, and Fajardo added a double-double of 11 markers and 14 rebounds.
Chris Newsome led Meralco with 16 points and 12 rebounds, but turned the ball over 11 times. Joseph Yeo and Baser Amer combined for 24 markers off the bench to spark the Bolts’ comeback bid.
Meralco stayed at the bottom four with its 2-4 slate.
SAN MIGUEL 101 – Lassiter 21, Cabagnot 20, Ross 18, Fajardo 11, Tubid 10, Santos 9, De Ocampo 4, Agovida 3, Garcia 2, Heruela 2, Espinas 1.
MERALCO 86 – Newsome 16, Yeo 12, Amer 12, Nabong 9, Hodge 7, Hugnatan 6, Uyloan 6, Caram 6, Bono 6, Daquioag 2, Faundo 2, Al-Hussaini 2, Grey 0.
Quarters: 32-13, 58-27, 79-63, 101-86