Meralco made it two in a row as it blew NLEX away in the fourth quarter to nab the 91-84 victory Sunday in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Clamping down on defense, the Bolts fired a 19-4 blast to start the fourth frame, turning a close 69-67 advantage to an 88-71 lead with 5:25 remaining in the game.
Jared Dillinger led the Bolts with 20 points, four rebounds, and three assists, while import Alex Stepheson registered 18 markers, 24 boards, and three blocks.
“Another good win for us tonight. Our defense really stepped up in the second half, we did a very good job defensively,” coach Norman Black said.
Chris Newsome chipped in 15 points, four rebounds, and three assists, Reynel Hugnatan came off the bench and poured 13 markers, four boards, and three dimes, and Baser Amer had 12 points, four assists, and two rebounds.
It was a stellar showing for Meralco, which limited NLEX to just 38-percent shooting and for the second straight game, held its opponent below 86 points.
“ I thought in the first half, we were a bit lax. We gave up a lot of points in the second quarter, but in the third and fourth, we did a lot better,” said Black. “We’ve been pretty solid, so we have to continue to do that.”
Wayne Chism led the winless Road Warriors with 18 points and 17 rebounds on an 8-of-24 from the field, while Garvo Lanete also had 14 markers.
MERALCO 91 – Dillinger 20, Stepheson 18, Newsome 15, Hugnatan 13, Amer 12, Chua 6, Caram 3, Hodge 2, Uyloan 2, Daquioag 0, Faundo 0.
NLEX 84 – Chism 18, Lanete 14, Alas 8, Guinto 7, Lastimosa 6, Tiongson 6, Camson 5, Khobuntin 5, Monfort 5, Anthony 2, Baracael 2, Rios 2, Soyud 2, Taulava 2, J. Villanueva 0.
Quarters: 26-19, 40-45, 69-67, 91-84.