Header Ads Widget

Meralco launches furious endgame rally to force Game 7 vs. SMB

Aaron Black led the Bolts' final charge to force Game 7 against the Beermen. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

IMUS--Meralco somehow rose from the grave on Sunday night after stunning San Miguel, 96-92, to send their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series to sudden death Wednesday.

Just when the crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City was about to accept that the Beermen will be making a return to the finals, the Bolts crawled their way back to Game 6 and stole the win from them.

SMB was on the track to finish Meralco off after opening a 90-80 lead with 4:23 left, but after a minute and a half offensive lull, Meralco went on a 13-0 run capped by six straight points from Aaron Black to take a 93-90 lead with 30.7 seconds remaining.

The Bolts, however, committed a huge blunder when Bong Quinto fouled CJ Perez while taking a left-corner triple off a steal from Raymond Almazan with 25 seconds left.

Perez, though, only made 2-of-3 from the foul line, keeping Meralco in control of the game, but he bounced back by stealing the ball from Allein Maliksi.

SMB, however, was called for a shot-clock violation, giving the ball back to Meralco with 11.3 seconds left.

Black somehow kept SMB in the game after only making a split from the charity stripe, but Quinto picked Chris Ross' pass and Black finished them off with two more free throws for the final score.

Chris Newsome led the Bolts with 19 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, while Black and Cliff Hodge each contributed 17 markers with Hodge also grabbing 12 rebounds for the double-double.

June Mar Fajardo put up 23 markers, 13 boards, and one dime for the Beermen.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

Post a Comment