|Allen Durham and the Meralco continued its winning ways to take the Game 1 win in Antipolo. PBA Media Bureau.|
By Ricky Manliguis
ANTIPOLO-- And Meralco continues to roll.
The Bolts sustained its winning form as it upended Alaska, 97-92, and take Game 1 of their semifinal showdown in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup at the Ynares Center Sunday night.
Fresh from its quarterfinal win over the twice-to beat Phoenix Fuel, the B-Boys got to a fiery start while stopping Alaska's fourth-quarter comeback to move two games away from a third straight finals appearance in the season-ending conference.
The win was also the team's seventh straight win bridging from the tail-end of the elimination round.
Banked on a torrid first-quarter, Meralco went to as high as 16 points in the match, 47-31, and looked to run away for victory.
But the Aces mounted several uprisings in the fourth quarter, the last trimming the deficit to 89-94 courtesy of a Mike Harris triple with 11 seconds left.
Baser Amer then made good of three free throws to put the game away.
Durham scored 32 points while grabbing 14 rebounds. Chris Newsome folllowed suit with 16 markers, seven rebounds, and four assists, even as Amer cashed in 14.
“I think we are just running on adrenaline right now. We are running on emotions having made the semis just two days ago,” echoed coach Norman Black, who will be celebrating his 61st birthday tomorrow.
Harris led Alaska, which eliminated San Miguel in the quarters, with a game-best 37 markers and 18 boards. Chris Banchero and Vic Manuel had 16 and 14 markers, respectively.
Meralco will be eyeing a 2-0 lead in Game 2 on Tuesday at the Mall Of Asia Arena.
MERALCO 97 - Durham 32, Newsome 16, Amer 14, Hugnatan 9, Caram 7, Faundo 6, Canaleta 6, Tolomia 5, Salva 2, Dillinger 0.
ALASKA 92 - Harris 37, Banchero 16, Manuel 14, Casio 5, Enciso 5, Exciminiano 5, Teng 4, Pascual 4, Galliguez 2, Baclao 0, Racal 0, Thoss 0.
Quarterscores: 25-17, 47-34, 72-56, 97-92.