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Meralco downs Phoenix in Govs Cup opener

PBA

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Meralco lost a 15-point cushion but regrouped in time to beat Phoenix, 108-103, in the first game of the PBA Governors' Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday night.

Behind a 14-4 run spanning the second and the third periods, the Bolts took a 56-41 advantage only to see the Fuel Masters slowly chip the lead away and go up, 88-84, with 7:58 to go in the fourth.

Meralco quickly extinguished Phoenix's lead, and the became tight from there

The Bolts got the win thanks to a crucial 10-3 run anchored behind the clutch scoring of Allen Durham.

Durham finished with 32 points, 22 rebounds, five assists, one block, and one steal, while Jimmy Alapag added 15 points, three rebounds, six assists, and one steal for Meralco.

Fresh from the FIBA OQT in Turin, Iranian Muhammad Jamshidi contributed nine points, one rebound, and three assists off the bench in his Philippine club basketball debut.

MJ Simmons fired 21 points with 11 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and one block, while Simon Enciso put up 16 points, one rebound, and four assists and fellow new acquisition John Wilson made 11 points and one rebound for a newly-retooled Phoenix roster.

Box Scores

Meralco 108-Durham 32, Alapag 15, Dillinger 15, Newsome 13, Hodge 12, Jamshidi 9, Hugnatan 7, Caram 3, Nabong 2, Amer 0, Faundo 0

Phoenix 103-Simmons 21, Enciso 16, Urbiztondo 12, W. Wilson 11, J Wilson 11, Torres 8, Lee 7, Buenafe 6, Pennisi 6, Cruz 3, Borboran 0, Caperal 0, Lanete 0

Quarters: 25-23, 54-41, 75-71, 108-103

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno