Daquioag shines as Meralco dents Nash Racela's TNT debut


By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Ed Daquioag blasted off for Meralco as the team dealt Coach Nash Racela a loss in his official debut as coach of TNT with a 98-87 rout in the nightcap of the PBA Philippine Cup doubleheader at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday.

Daquioag tallied 23 points, four rebounds, one assist, and two steals off the bench to lead the way for the Bolts, who preserved a hot start after the KaTropa began getting their form midway through the contest.

Meralco surprised TNT with a 16-2 start, but the latter ended the first period on an 21-10 run to cut the lead to three, 26-23, and eventually took the lead, 40-37, in the second quarter.

The Bolts maintained their poise and eventually pulled away for good in the second half, repulsing any KaTropa run in the final 24 minutes.

Rabeh Al-Hussaini added 14 points, two rebounds, one assist, and two blocks even as Chris Newsome came close to a triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists with two steals and one block in an impressive all-around game for Meralco.

Jayson Castro dropped 23 points, three rebounds, seven assists, and one steal for TNT, whose head coach Racela let Assistant Coach Josh Reyes take charge while he finishes his stint as FEU gaffer.

Box Scores:

Meralco 98-Daquioag 23, Al-Hussaini 14, Hugnatan 11, Newsome 11, Nabong 10, Amer 9, Hodge 9, Caram 6, Yeo 4, Grey 1, Faundo 0, Chua 0

TNT 87-Castro 23, Williams 19, De Ocampo 9, Pogoy 9, reyes 9, Tautuaa 6, Rosser 5, Rosario 4, Fonacier 3, Carey 0, Rosales 0

Quarterscores: 26-23, 45-45, 75-69, 98-87

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