Meralco ousts Mahindra, books Govs Cup semis seat

ANTIPOLO- Meralco bucked a slow start by going full throttle in the second half as the Bolts eliminated Mahindra, 105-82 to advance to the PBA Governors Cup semifinals on Saturday at the Ynares Center.

Burly import Allen Durham once more, stood at the forefront of the Bolts’ offensive, firing 24 points, hauling down 16 rebounds and issuing six assists as Meralco reached the semifinals for the second straight conference.

“We really felt that this is an important game for us,” Meralco coach Norman Black said after the game.

“If we lost tonight, we’ll give them confidence.. And we had a slow start, but in the second half, we came out strong.”

Black took note of the Bolts’ maturity since winning just one game in the Philippine Cup.

“The semis is not the end. Ll we need to win the championship,” said the multi-titled PBA coach.

“The team has come a long way in the past two conferences, locals have come around.”

Rookie Chris Newsome added 19 points while forward Cliff Hodge added 14, 7 rebounds and three assists.

The Enforcer, playing in their first-ever playoff appearance, closed the conference with five straight losses.

James White led Mahindra with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Mike Digregorio added 14.