Meralco sends SMB to danger zone with Game 1 win

Reynel Hugnatan displayed another masterful performance. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--San Miguel has established itself as the modern-day "Kings of All-Filipino" after racking up five consecutive PBA Philippine Cup championships.

After a Friday night loss, the team is in danger of seeing this dominance come to an end.

Meralco kept its footing all game long before pipping SMB, 78-71, at the start of the quarterfinals at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.

Despite having a twice-to-beat disadvantage in the playoffs, the fifth seeded Bolts seemed like a team on a mission, holding the fourth seeded Beermen to just 11 points in the first quarter.

That first quarter defensive brilliance turned out to be enough as Meralco held off SMB the rest of the way.

Reynel Hugnatan put up another vintage performance of 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals for the Bolts, who sent their quarterfinal series to sudden death on Sunday night.

Aaron Black added 14 points, three rebounds, and one steal off the bench.

Mo Tautuaa put up 14 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and one steal for the Beermen.

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