Bolts shut down Elite with furious late-game run
Paul Lintag on Apr 16, 2017 07:01 PM
Kelly Nabong matched Blackwater's fourth-quarter output as the Meralco Bolts rolled to another Commissioner's Cup victory.
Blackwater played incredible basketball for three quarters against Meralco.
Too bad the game ends after four periods.
The Bolts clamped down on defense in the final 12 minutes, completely shutting down the Elite on their way to a 102-91 win in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup Sunday at the Big Dome.
Down 72-80 after three quarters, Meralco limited Blackwater to only eight meaningful points in the fourth as the Bolts secured another victory, the team's sixth in seven games.
Mark Cruz's garbage time three with 11 seconds to go made the final tally and allowed Blackwater to break double digits in the payoff period.
"We played much better in the second half. Our defense was much stronger in the second half especially against [Greg] Smith," head coach Norman Black said.
"Our defense won us this game tonight," he added.
Still trailing by four approaching the halfway point of the fourth, the Bolts unloaded a 10-0 run for a 90-84 lead and never looked back.
Jared Dillinger led the now 6-1 Bolts with 21 points while import Alex Stephenson had 18 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists.
Chris Newsome scored 14 and Baser Amer was once again impressive with 12 markers, nine rebounds and three dimes. Even Kelly Nabong came off the bench and was good for 13 points, 11 in the fourth, and nine boards.
After winning their first game, the Elite appeared to be headed for a nice two-game streak until disaster struck.
Following a 40-point outing, import Greg Smith struggled for only 19 as Blackwater dropped to 1-5. Michael Digregorio added 16 while KG Canaleta scored 14 points, all in the third period.
MERALCO 102 - Dillinger 21, Stepheson 18, Newsome 14, Nabong 13, Amer 12, Hugnatan 9, Daquioag 7, Yeo 4, Chua 4, Uyloan 0, Caram 0.
BLACKWATER 91 - Smith 19, DiGregorio 16, Canaleta 14, Pascual 8, Pinto 7, Sena 7, Cruz 5, Aguilar 5, Buenafe 5, Cervantes 3, Miranda 2, Sumang 0.
Quarters: 22-24, 44-48, 72-80, 102-91.
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