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Meralco whips NorthPort for share of 2nd spot

Aaron Black continued to be Meralco's current main man. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Meralco returned to its winning ways on Thursday night as it trampled NorthPort, 97-87, in their PBA Philippine Cup showdown at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

The Bolts quickly pulled away from the Batang Pier, dropping 32 points in the first quarter before holding their foes to just 15 in the second and eventually opening a lead as high as 27 points early in the fourth.

NorthPort pulled a late run midway through the fourth quarter, but back-to-back baskets from Aaron Black, a three-pointer and a layup, doused cold water on the team's comeback bid.

Black finished with 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting, five rebounds, and seven assists to lead Meralco, which tied Ginebra in second place at 3-1.

Allein Maliksi and Chris Banchero each added 16 points, while Reynel Hugnatan and Toto Jose chipped in 11 and nine points, respectively, to step up in the sudden absence of Raymond Almazan.

Jamie Malonzo hit 21 markers, nine boards, six dimes, one steal, and two blocks for NorthPort, which lost for the third straight game after a 2-0 start.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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