Bolts survive champion ROS to seize solo lead in Comm's Cup

Paul Lintag on Mar 29, 2017 09:48 PM
Bolts survive champion ROS to seize solo lead in Comm's Cup
Meralco got a half game lead over Alaska for no. 1 with a clean 4-0 mark, leaving the Elasto Painters their first loss of their title defense for a 3-1 record.

Meralco just passed another test in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

The Bolts claimed solo leadership in the mid-season conference Wednesday at the MOA Arena, stopping previously undefetead defending champion Rain or Shine, 89-83.

Meralco got a half game lead over Alaska for no. 1 with a clean 4-0 mark, leaving the Elasto Painters their first loss of their title defense for a 3-1 record.

What looked like a comfortable win for the Bolts turned into a mad scramble in the final minutes as Rain or Shine stormed back from a 10-point deficit to make it a two-point game with 40 seconds to go, 83-85.

However, import Alex Stephenson came up huge in the clutch in giving Meralco a two-possession lead with 27 ticks remaining while Chris Newsome converted on two free throws following a flagrant foul call on Beau Belga to seal the final tally.

Despite playing through five fouls, Stephenson managed 21 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Bolts while Baser Amer played his best game of the conference so far, entering triple-double watch with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists.

Cliff Hodge scored 12 off the bench for Meralco.

"From my perspective, another good defensive outing for us," head coach Norman Black said.

"We limited Rain or Shine to below 90 points and that's good for us. We know they score a lot of points," he added.

Rain or Shine certainly did have a hard time putting the ball through the hoop as the champs struggled to only 30 percent shooting from the field.

Import Shawn Taggart carried the load for the Elasto Painters with 27 points and 13 boards. Jericho Cruz was the only local to finish in double figures with 12.

 

The Scores: 

MERALCO 89 - Stepheson 21, Amer 17, Hodge 12, Dillinger 9, Nabong 8, Newsome 7, Daquioag 6, Caram 6, Hugnatan 3, Chua 0, Faundo 0, Uyloan 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 83 - Taggart 27, Cruz 12, Norwood 9, Almazan 8, Chan 7, Ahanmisi 6, Yap 6, Belga 5, Washington 3, Tiu 0, Tolomia 0, Ponferrada 0, Trollano 0.

Quarters: 17-13, 45-34, 64-59, 89-83.

 


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