Meralco beats Phoenix to force do-or-die for semis spot
November 07, 2018
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- Meralco beats Phoenix to force do-or-die for semis spot
THE Meralco Bolts on Wednesday defeated the Phoenix Fuel Masters in their quarterfinals series, 90-74, to forge a rubber match for a spot in the semis of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 43 Governors’ Cup.
After a 33-35 halftime deficit, the Bolts outscored the Fuel Masters 33-20 in the third and 24-19 in the fourth quarters behind the big plays of import Allen Durham.
Durham notched 18 of his 26 points in the second half in addition to his 16 rebounds, four assists and three blocks, while Chris Newsome and Baser Amer scattered 16 and 14 points, respectively, to lead Meralco.
“The boys are very hungry now,” Meralco coach Norman Black told The Manila Times in an interview after his team’s fifth consecutive win.
Meralco’s defense resulted in poor shooting by Phoenix which converted only 2 of 26 shots from beyond the three-point arc and 26 of 67 from the two-point area.
“I repeated over and over again that tonight it was really all about our defense,” said Black during the post game news conference. “From start to finish, we were able to execute defensively. In the first half, we struggled to score a basketball because Phoenix is also a good defensive team.”
“But we really clamped down a little bit better in the second half on defense and our shots were falling a little bit more.”
The Bolts led, 60-45, in the middle of third period and sustained their advantage throughout the last frame.
Import Eugene Phelps scored 27 points and 17 rebounds, while Calvin Abueva had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Fuel Masters.
The do-or-die quarterfinal game will be played on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Meralco 90 – Durham 26, Newsome 16, Amer 14, Tolomia 9, Canaleta 9, Hugnatan 7, Salva 5, Dillinger 2, Faundo 2, Hodge 0, Ballesteros 0, Caram 0, Jamito 0.
Phoenix 74 – Phelps 27, Abueva 18, Perkins 9, Wright 8, Chua 6, Intal 4, Jazul 2, Revilla 0, Kramer 0, Wilson 0, Mendoza 0.
Quarters: 15-17, 33-35, 66-55, 90-74.
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net