|Bong Galanza put up 14 markers for the Road Warriors. PBA Media Group|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—NLEX scored its second straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup after repulsing Meralco, 87-83, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Saturday night.
Big man Poy Erram saved the day for the Road Warriors as he swatted away Ranidel De Ocampo’s layup to preserve their win against the Bolts.
De Ocampo became a threat in the endgame as he buried a huge quick triple off a timeout that forced a 83-all tie with 1:37 to play, while his Meralco teammates kept NLEX scoreless for over a minute.
JR Quiñahan broke the Road Warriors’ slump with a split from the free throw line for an 84-83 lead with 31 seconds left.
De Ocampo had a chance to give the Bolts the lead, but he muffed a jumper and Marion Magat secured the defensive rebound.
Magat, however, left the door open for Meralco to at least force overtime as he only 1-for-2 from the foul line with 10 seconds to go.
Erram then came to the rescue, blocking De Ocampo’s lay-in, and Bong Galanza sealed the win with two charities.
Quiñahan finished with 16 points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal off the bench for NLEX, which tied its victim at 2-3.
Galanza added 14 markers, two rebounds, and one assist.
Erram and Kevin Alas each tallied 12 points with the former having an impressive two-way game as he also had eight rebounds, seven assists, and five blocks.
Jared Dillinger made 16 points and six rebounds for Meralco.
NLEX 87 - Quinahan 16, Galanza 14, Erram 12, Alas 12, Rios 9, Magat 8, Porter 6, Fonacier 4, Ighalo 2, Paniamogan 2, Tallo 2, Soyud 0.
Meralco 83 - Dillinger 16, Newsome 15, Hugnatan 14, De Ocampo 8, Caram 8, Amer 7, Hodge 6, Canaleta 3, Faundo 2, Salva 2, Jackson 2, Pinto 0, Tolomia 0.
Quarters: 21-22, 34-37, 61-64, 87-83.
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