Meralco weathers late SMB run to go 2-0 in PH Cup

Meralco weathers late SMB run to go 2-0 in PH Cup

Chris Newsome continues to provide the needed leadership for the Bolts. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--With an action packed PBA opening weekend wrapping up, Meralco is suddenly on top of the team standings.

The Bolts moved up to 2-0 in the Philippine Cup table after pipping the San Miguel Beermen, 93-87, on Sunday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Meralco held off SMB in the end as the latter felt the absence of spitfire guard Terrence Romeo, who left the game after getting hurt.

Parading new acquisition CJ Perez and welcoming June Mar Fajardo back, the Beermen took control of the first quarter and led, 25-18.

But the Bolts took the next two quarters and raced to a 72-59 advantage entering the fourth.

SMB threatened a comeback after cutting Meralco's lead down to two, 79-77, with 5:29 to go, but Aaron Black's back-to-back triples sparked the latter's breakaway.

Chris Newsome led the Bolts with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting, four rebounds, six assists, and two steals.

Black, the de facto Rookie of the Year last season, added 14 points, four rebounds, and one assist off the bench.

Romeo put up 18 points, three boards, and two dimes for the Beermen before he left the game with 8:39 remaining.

Mo Tautuaa added 17 markers, 10 caroms, and one block, while Gilas 3x3 teammate CJ Perez also had 17 points with six rebounds, two steals, and one block in his SMB debut.

Fajardo was held to just five points, five rebounds, and one dime in his return to action after missing the entire 2020 season.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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