4:30 p.m. – Alaska vs. Columbian Dyip
7 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs. NorthPort
MERALCO capped its fourth quarter explosion with a strong finish to hack out a 108-105 win over NLEX and keep its flickering playoff hopes alive in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Import Allen Durham scored 16 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, but it was Reynel Hugnatan and Baser Amer who delivered the points that mattered most as the Bolts clinched one of the four wins they must pull off for a possible passage into the quarterfinal round.
Aaron Fuller had just given NLEX a 105-99 lead which proved to be the team’s last taste of the lead as Hugnatan cut loose with a triple while Amer completed a three-point play off Fuller’s 6th foul as Meralco tied the count at 105-all with still 46.2 seconds remaining.
Juami Tiongson committed a traveling violation in the ensuing play, virtually pushing NLEX to kingdom come. The Road Warriors then turned to their defense as Meralco advanced the ball, forcing Amer to call for a 30-second timeout.
Amer was poised to hit a three which he did and made it too, shattering the 105-all count and putting Meralco on top for good, 108-105, 13.6 seconds left. The Bolts then completed their day after Chris Newsome stole the ball during NLEX’s inbound play.
The Bolts have now notched what was only their second win after six consecutive setbacks to remain in contention for the next round. Their next assignments are Magnolia on Friday, Rain or Shine on Oct 21 and San Miguel Beer on Nov. 3.
The Road Warriors tumbled to their fifth loss against four wins, and fell to eighth place in the provisional standings.
The Road Warriors seized control at the start of the third, building a 50-40 lead which they gamely protected even in the face of the Bolts’ determined onslaught anchored on Durham.
Durham had just sank two free throws to put Meralco within 58-53 when coaches Yeng Guiao of NLEX and Norman Black of Meralco figured in a verbal altercation. The two coaches were slapped with technical fouls.
The Bolts meanwhile continued their attack and a jumper by Anjo Caram put Meralco within 64-60, with 3:53 left in the third.
But the Road Warriors just would not allow themselves to get intimidated.
Meralco (108) - Durham 36, Amer 22, Newsome 14, Hugnatan 12, Hodge 10, Caram 8, Lanete 2, Salva 2, Jamito 2, Faundo 0, Atkins 0, Tolomia 0.
NLEX (105) - Fuller 31, Fonacier 21, Quinahan 17, Ighalo 9, Galanza 6, Tallo 5, Marcelo 4, Taulava 3, Rios 3, Soyud 2, Baguio 2, Paniamogan 2, Tiongson 0, Monfort 0.
Quarters: 13-17, 36-39, 66-80, 108-105