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Meralco seals twice-to-beat edge, sends Phoenix to brink of ouster

Tony Bishop put up another masterful performance to seal the fourth seed for the Bolts. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Despite the slump it had in the last three games, Meralco still ended up getting the twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals.

The Bolts sealed the quarterfinal bonus on Friday after drubbing the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 109-90, in the penultimate game of the elimination round at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Meralco sizzled offensively in the odd-numbered quarters, but the turning point came in the third where it limited Phoenix to just 13 points to open an 88-68 lead entering the fourth.

The Fuel Masters looked to pull a comeback after opening the final canto with an 8-0 run that cut the lead down to 12, 88-76.

But the Bolts responded with a 17-7 rally of their own to up the lead to 22, 105-83, with 1:41 to go and never looked back.

Tony Bishop led Meralco, which will enter the quarterfinals as the fourth seed, with 35 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and three steals.

Allein Maliksi added 27 points, three rebounds, and one steal off the bench.

As things stand, the team will either face San Miguel or TNT, two teams that are chasing for the third seed, in the quarterfinals.

Du'Vaughn Maxwell made 26 markers, 12 boards, two dimes, three steals, and one block, while Matthew Wright put up 13 markers, 10 dimes, five caroms, and one swipe for Phoenix, who must now hope that NorthPort falls to TNT later Friday so that they can face them in a play-in match on Sunday night for the eighth seed.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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