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Meralco sends Blackwater to PBA's longest skid

Raymond Almazan was solid in the paint for the Bolts. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Blackwater just set a PBA record... for the wrong reasons, though.

The Bossing were sent to infamy on Saturday even as the Meralco Bolts zeroed in on sealing the second seed in the Philippine Cup quarterfinals with a 104-97 win at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Despite the late efforts to steal the win, Blackwater still fell short as the team was not just shut out the entire conference but also lost for the 19th straight time since last year, setting the 46-year-old league's new record for the longest losing streak ever.

The Bossing looked to be heading that way actually after the Bolts raced to a 31-14 first quarter lead even as the lead swelled to 23, 61-38, at halftime.

Blackwater came alive in the second half and even came to as close as six, 97-103, with 1:10 left.

The Bossing even had a chance to inch even nearer after forcing the Bolts to a 24-second violation in the next play, but they failed to hit their shots the rest of the way.

Allein Maliksi put up 21 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, and one block to lead Meralco, which moved up to 7-2, a half-game ahead of Magnolia (7-3) and a full game ahead of San Miguel (6-3) for the second spot.

Raymond Almazan added 15 points, 17 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks.

KG Canaleta, Mike Tolomia, and Richard Escoto each tallied 15 markers off the bench for Blackwater, which surpassed the 18-game skid of Great Taste during the 1980 season.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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