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Meralco stays alive in playoff race with rout of SMB

Allen Durham erupted anew to keep the Bolts in the playoff race. PBA Media Group
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--With its playoff hopes on the line, Meralco showed why it made the PBA Governors' Cup Finals for two straight years.

The Bolts secured at least a playoff for the final quarterfinal spot with a 111-81 rout of the San Miguel Beermen at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday night.

After seeing a hot start getting overturned, Meralco blasted away in the second half as the team now awaits the result of the TNT-Ginebra game on Sunday night to determine if it will enter the next round outright or it may need to play a rubber match for the quarterfinal berth.

The Bolts started the game strong, opening a 15-3 advantage in the first five minutes of the match.

The Beermen, however, recovered and even started the second quarter on a 15-0 run to take a 40-26 advantage.

Meralco finished the first half on a high note and finally romped SMB in the second half, outscoring its opponent, 67-32.

Allen Durham dropped 35 points, 26 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and two blocks for the Bolts, which finished its elimination round campaign at 5-6 and will wait on what is going to happen in the clash pitting the KaTropa and the Barangay.

Reynel Hugnatan added 19 points, six rebounds, six assists, and one steal off the bench.

Kevin Murphy made 32 markers, 10 rebounds, two assists, and one interception for the Beermen, who will settle for the sixth seed and a quarterfinal meeting with the Alaska Aces.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno