Belo’s impressive second half, Miranda's game-winner save the day for Blackwater against Meralco

By Jason Espiritu

QUEZON CITY--When Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy knew they were going to get the no.1 overall pick from the Gilas special draft, he already insisted that Mac Belo will be their pick and become their long-awaited franchise type player.

He couldn’t be any more wrong.

After a solid debut last Wednesday versus Phoenix, Belo shone anew on Sunday night against Meralco in an 86-84 win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, posting a career-high 25 points in his second game in the PBA.

More importantly, he did much of his damage in the second half and crucial winding moments of the game.

Meralco was in control much of the game before Belo erupted for a triple on top of the key to tie the game at 84-all with 1:40 left in the game. That helped set up veteran Denok Miranda’s game-winning layup with 3.8 seconds remaining.

The Bolts had a 27-22 lead in the first canto led by rookie Jonathan Grey’s seven quick points and a booming trey to end the quarter.

The second frame saw a see-saw battle from both teams exchanging leads from a very entertaining fast-paced action. The Bolts held on to 41-39 lead at the half.

Mac Belo only scored four point in the first half before exploding for nine points in the third quarter and 12 points in the final canto to help put Blackwater on top of the standings after a week of play. Their 2-0 record marks their best start in their franchise history.

Cliff Hodge led the charge for the Bolts with a near rare triple-double feat scoring 14 points, grabbing nine rebounds, and dishing eight assists. He was backed up by last year’s Rookie of the Year Chris Newsome and impressive rookie Grey with 11 points each.

Box Scores:

Blackwater 86-Belo 25, Pascual 13, Miranda 11, Dela Cruz 8, Sena 6, Pinto 5, Aguilar 5, Cervantes 5, Forrester 3, Ababou 3, Gamalinda 2, Banal 0, Buenafe 0

Meralco 84 - Hodge 14, Grey 11, Newsome 11, Al-Hussaini 9, Amer 8, Daquioag 6, Hugnatan 6, Yeo 5, Chua 4, Faundo 4, Nabong 4, Dillinger 2

Quarterscores: 22-27, 39-41, 68-67, 86-84

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