GlobalPort loses huge lead but holds on against Meralco

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--GlobalPort squandered a 24-point cushion but still withstood the test of Meralco with a 108-104 win in their PBA Philippine Cup clash at the Cuneta Astrodome on Wednesday night.

Behind the hot hands of Terrence Romeo, the Batang Pier immediately raced to an 80-56 lead in the third quarter.

But Jimmy Alapag began catching fire and scored on huge triples to help the Bolts crawl back and took a 96-94 advantage with 3:48 remaining in the fourth period.

GlobalPort answered with a 9-0 run capped by triples from Romeo and Pringle to retake the lead, 103-96, with 1:57 left in the game.

Meralco never gave up as Cliff Hodge connected on a reverse layup and Alapag made another trey to cut the lead down to two, 103-101, with 1:11 left in the match.

The team got a chance to tie the game as Pringle missed on his field goal, but Hodge also muffed his equalizer and Romeo drained two freebies to stretch the lead to four, 105-101, with 28.9 seconds to go.

Alapag still put up a fight as he drained another three-pointer with 18.5 ticks on the clock to draw the Bolts within one, 104-105.

But Romeo scored two more charities after a quick Chris Newsome foul to extend the Batang Pier's lead to three, 107-104.

Alapag lost steam in the end as he botched his game-tying triple with eight seconds remaining, and Jay Washington sealed the win with a free throw.

Romeo finished with 33 points on 10-of-20 field goals including five triples and a perfect 8-of-8 free throw clip for GlobalPort.

Alapag led Meralco, which became the first club to be eliminated from playoff contention, with 18 markers off the bench.

Box Scores:

GlobalPort 108-Romeo 33, Pringle 19, Washington 15, Mamaril 8, Yeo 8, Jensen 7, Kramer 7, Maierhofer 6, Sumang 3, Semerad 2

Meralco 104-Alapag 18, Hodge 17, Nabong 13, Hugnatan 12, Newsome 13, Faundo 11, David 8, Buenafe 7, Dillinger 4, Caram 1, Amer 0, Al-Hussaini 0

Quarterscores: 26-22, 55-44, 87-73, 108-104

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