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Meralco stays in playoff hunt, cools off Magnolia

Allen Durham flirted with a triple-double in the Bolts's win. PBA Media Group

By Ricky Manliguis

ANTIPOLO -- Meralco fanned its playoff hopes alive as it waylaid Magnolia Hotshots, 94-88, in Friday action of the PBA Governors' Cup at the Ynares Center. 

The Bolts hit baskets when it mattered in the face of a Magnolia comeback in the fourth quarter for its third win in nine outings and keep its quarterfinal hunt on track.

The Pambansang Manok saw its five-game winning streak snapped to fall to 7-2.

Down 79-81 on Romeo Travis' three-point play, Meralco instigated a 6-0 run behind Cliff Hodge and Chris Newsome for an 85-81 lead with 2:38 left in the fourth quarter. 

Jio Jalalon hit back-to-back buckets to keep Magnolia in the thick of things, 86-89, before Baser Amer and Reynel Hugnatan cashed in five free throws for the final count. 

Durham led the way for the Bolts with another double-double of 20 points and 18 rebounds, while Amer chipped in 16 with five boards, three assists and three steals. 

Hugnatan came off the bench for 15 markers, even as Newsome and Hodge had 13 and 12, respectively. 

Romeo Travis finished with 25 points and 19 rebounds for Magnolia, playing without Marc Pingris and guard Justin Melton. 

Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang both had 12 markers. 

The Scores: 

MERALCO 94--Durham 20, Amer 16, Hugnatan 15, Newsome 13, Hodge 12, Salva 8, Jamito 5, Caram 3, Tolomia 2, Lanete 0, Faundo 0, Ballesteros 0. 

MAGNOLIA 88--Travis 25, Lee 12, Sangalang 12, Jalalon 9, Reavis 8, Barroca 8, Brondial 7, Herndon 3, Simon 2, Dela Rosa 2, Pascual 0, Ramos 0. 

Quarterscores: 24-19, 43-all, 70-66, 94-88.

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