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Braimoh fires 40, carries Meralco past Blackwater

Suleiman Braimoh and Chris Newsome delivered the killer blows in the end game as Meralco escaped Blackwater, 91-84, to go 2-0 in the 2023 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Saturday, Nov. 11.

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Suleiman Braimoh fires 40 points to lead Meralco past Blackwater (PBA Images)

Held scoreless for four minutes late in the final frame and with their once double-digit lead cut down to just five, the Bolts banked on their defense that led to a Braimoh two-handed dunk before Newsome nailed a dagger deuce to give Meralco to a perfect start so far to the young conference.

Braimoh’s fastbreak jam served as a fitting exclamation point to his monster performance of 40 points and 16 rebounds while Newsome’s timely jumper more than made up for a lackluster showing that saw him only finish with five points.

No other player scored in double-figures for the Bolts although Cliff Hodge and Bong Quinto both chipped in nine. Hodge also collared 16 rebounds from Meralco which also bucked the absence of Allein Maliksi who sustained a fractured nose in the first half.

The Bolts looked to be on their way to the victory after establishing an 85-75 lead with a little over five minutes left. Meralco, however, struggled to find the gaps to Blackwater defense allowing the Bossing to put together a mini 5-0 run to threaten, 80-85

Blackwater had its chances to put more pressure on Meralco but just couldn’t convert on the offensive end before the breakaway dunk from Braimoh gave the Bolts a comfortable seven-point cushion, 87-80 with 1:07 left.

Blackwater import Chris Ortiz did a little bit of everything with 26 points, six rebounds, four steals and a block but lacked support from his local crew with Rey Suerte the only other double-digit scorer with 10.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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