Meralco subdues Mahindra in crucial clash


By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--All of a sudden, Mahindra could let a twice-to-beat advantage slip away.

Meralco survived a fourth quarter rally by Mahindra to take an 86-83 win in a pivotal PBA Governors' Cup match at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday night.

Ahead, 71-62, entering the final quarter, the Bolts saw the Enforcers slowly chip the lead and eventually take it, 83-82, with 2:04 left in the game.

It turned to be Mahindra's last gasp as Allen Durham put Meralco back up, 84-83, with 46.5 seconds left.

The Enforcers, however, still provided some late drama as LA Revilla picked a Chris Newsome before calling for time with 11.6 seconds to go.

But James White failed to handle Aldrech Ramos' bad pass, and Durham made two free throws for the 86-83 count with 1.2 seconds remaining.

Mark Yee's desperation long bomb failed to connect as time expired.

Durham paced Meralco, which tied its victim at 6-5 and forced a playoff for fourth place, with 34 points, 17 rebounds, one assist, three blocks, and one steal.

White had 27 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, and one steal for Mahindra, which could even drop below the Top 4 depending on how many teams will end up at 6-5. The top four teams after the eliminations will have a twice-to-beat advantage come the quarterfinals.

Box Scores:

Meralco 86-Durham 34, Dillinger 12, Newsome 10, Hugnatan 9, Alapag 7, Amer 4, Hodge 3, Uyloan 3, Faundo 2, Nabong 2, Al-Hussaini 0

Mahindra 83-White 27, Ramos 17, Revilla 12, Yee 9, Taha 8, Aguilar 4, Guinto 2, Digregorio 2, Agovida 2, Mandani 0, Webb 0, Galanza 0, Bagatsing 0, Ballesteros 0, De Vera 0

Quarterscores: 25-22, 50-45, 71-62, 86-83

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