Newsome's final stop saves Meralco from another meltdown
After botching the jump ball in the previous possession, Chris Newsome made up for it in the final play of the game, hounding Jeff Chan and forcing the former Gilas sniper to throw a prayer of a three-pointer in the last second for the win. The prayer was not answered.
Meralco will not be a victim of another game-winning shot.
Phoenix will not take another game on a last-second miracle.
The Bolts survived the Fuel Masters' charge, 92-90, Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum, keeping their chances alive in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.
After botching the jump ball in the previous possession, Chris Newsome made up for it in the final play of the game, hounding Jeff Chan and forcing the former Gilas sniper to throw a prayer of a three-pointer in the last second for the win.
The prayer was not answered.
Meralco snapped a three-game slide, keeping its conference alive with a 3-6 record.
"That was really a hard-fought game, just happy with my guys staying in the game and kept fighting untill the end," head coach Norman Black said.
"We really had to dig deep to get in this basketball game. It takes a lot of will power for the players to say no, we will win this game and that's what the players did today. We treated this game as if it was a championship game," he added.
Meralco was off to a hot start with its conference on the line, leading by as many as 16 points in the first quarter.
However, the Fuel Masters would regain control in third period, outscoring the Bolts by 19 to take a five-point lead into the final 12 minutes.
Fortunately, Meralco's defense recovered in time, limitng Phoenix to 15 points in the fourth to help take this crucial decision.
Garvo Lanete led the Bolts with 24 points while Cliff Hodge added 17. Unfortunately, Hodge was hampered by what appeared to be a knee injury and was taken straight to the hospital after the game.
Newsome, Mike Tolomia, KG Canaleta, and Anjo Caram all scored nine apiece for Meralco.
Meanwhile, Phoenix got 24 from Willie Wilson but the Fuel Masters dropped to 4-5 with the loss.
MERALCO 92 — Lanete 24, Hodge 17, Canaleta 9, Caram 9, Newsome 9, Tolomia 9, Hugnatan 6, Amer 5, Salva 4, Ballesteros 0, Baracael 0.
PHOENIX 90 — Wilson 24, Wright 16, Jazul 13, Perkins 10, Chan 8, Mendoza 6, Dehesa 5, Intal 4, Kramer 4, Alolino 0, Chua 0, Eriobu 0.
Quarters: 29-18, 54-40, 70-75, 92-90.
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