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Bolts dodge Sorentos' upset ax

By Dugout Philippines

Meralco needed a late swing before stopping Kia, 99-93, at the resumption of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The Bolts squandered a 22-point lead built early in the third quarter and even trailed, 78-81, early in the fourth.

But they scored seven straight points to regain the lead, 85-81, with less than seven minutes left.

After a Kyle Pascual shot that trimmed the gap to two, Meralco scored seven more in succession to widen the lead to nine, 92-83.

But crucial three-pointers from L.A. Revilla, Reil Cervantes, and Bonbon Custodio moved Kia closer to three, 93-96, with over a minute left.

The Sorentos got another chance after Jared Dillinger turned the ball over.

But Hans Thiele missed a point blank shot and Sean Anthony converted a free throw in the next play to put the Bolts up, 97-93, with 30.6 seconds to go.

Cervantes misfired on another triple, and Cliff Hodge slammed the ball on the other end to seal the win that knocked out Kia from playoff contention and eventually lifting NLEX to the playoffs, thus completing the cast.

Dillinger led Meralco with 25 points, while Cervantes had 17 for Kia.

Box Scores:

Meralco 99--Dillinger 25, Hodge 17, Anthony 14, Wilson 11, David 10, Macapagal 8, Morrison 4, Cortez 3, Ferriols 3, Ildefonso 2, Sena 2, Buenafe 0, Guevarra 0

Kia 93--Cervantes 18, Poligrates 11, Revilla 10, Bagatsing 10, Thiele 9, Alvarez 8, Pascual 8, Dehesa 7, Custodio 6, Webb 4, Burtscher 3, Pacquiao 0, Buensuceso 0

Quarterscores: 34-19; 60-39; 73-72; 99-93