Beaten badly in the series-opener, Meralco returned the favor against sister team TNT as the Bolts scored a wire-to-wire 106-91victory in their PBA Governors Cup semifinals on Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Hulking import Allen Durham electrified the Bolts anew with 31 points and 19 rebounds, while more importantly getting the much-needed support from the locals as they tie the series at 1-1.
“We played a lot better tonight. We just had some walk through in our adjustments and a lot of things we talked about (in practice) helped us today,” said Meralco coach Norman Black on the team’s huge win to avert a 0-2 hole in the series.
A cause of concern though is Fil-Am Jared Dillinger who appeared to have hurt his right hamstring while going for the unmolested fastbreak layup late in the game.
“I’m not sure what happened to JD in the game. Hope it’s nothing serious,” said the Meralco mentor.
Fil-Am rookie Chris Newsome bounced back from a paltry 3-point, Game 1 output as he pumped in 17 points, while collaring 10 boards.
Jimmy Alapag came off the bench and tormented his former team by firing 14 points in the last quarter alone, knocking down threes each time TNT tries to inch close into the game.
The “Mighty Mouse” finished the game with 16 points, going 4-of-4 from the three-point distance.
On the other hand, Fil-Am forward Cliff Hodge chipped in 15 as Meralco handed TNT just its second loss overall in the conference.
The Bolts showed aggressiveness on both ends of the floor to finally beat the powerhouse Katropa for the first time in three tries this conference. – Richard Dy
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