Meralco falters anew in FIBA Asia CC, falls to Tokyo

Joji Takeuchi says thanks to his teammate during a timeout. FIBA

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Meralco wavered anew in the fourth quarter in its FIBA Asia Champions Cup game on Friday, bowing to Alvark Tokyo, 73-84, at the Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

The Bolts once again suffered a late meltdown as imports Allen Durham and Diamond Stone lacked the needed local support and Alvark began to click from the outside especially with Alex Kirk in foul trouble.

Quarter-long brilliance highlighted the game as Tokyo took a 19-17 first quarter lead, Meralco taking flight in the second to go up, 37-35, at halftime, and Tokyo reclaimed control in the third quarter to go ahead, 60-56.

However, Alvark went on a crucial 8-2 run midway through the fourth period to somehow blow the game wide open, and the Bolts could not recover from there.

Kirk finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists, while Daiki Tanaka added 15 points, five rebounds, seven assists, and one steal for Tokyo, which is now 2-0 in Group B after stunning defending champion Al-Riyadi on Thursday night.

Durham paced Meralco, now at 0-2, with 31 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal, while Stone chipped in 28 points, eight rebounds, one assist, one block, and two steals.

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