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Meralco finally scores EASL win, holds off Carl Tamayo-less Ryukyu in Macau OT thriller

Prince Ibeh soars for a slam dunk. EASL
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG—Meralco finally won its first EASL game after stunning reigning B.League champion Ryukyu in overtime, 97-88, at the Studio City Event Center in Macau on Wednesday night.

The Bolts used a 12-0 run midway into overtime to open a 92-83 lead with 1:22 left.

The Golden Kings still tried to crawl back after a Jack Cooley putback and Keita Imamura's three cut the lead down to five, 93-88, with 53 seconds to go, but a layup from Zach Lofton and two free throws from Chris Newsome sealed the win for the Bolts.

Fresh from a 54-point blast against NorthPort on Sunday in the PBA Commissioner's Cup, Lofton led Meralco, now tied with Seoul SK for third place in Group B, with 35 points, six rebounds, and three assists.

Newsome added 27 points on 8-for-9 shooting, eight rebounds, two assists, and one steal, while Prince Ibeh put up 15 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and two steals.

Vic Law made 27 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and one steal, while Cooley made 10 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, and one steal for Ryukyu, which fell to 2-2.

Carl Tamayo was not activated for the game.

Meanwhile, Chiba handed Anyang its worst loss at home in all competitions so far this season after leaving the Anyang Gymnasium with a 102-69 win.

John Mooney finished with 22 points, 22 rebounds, five assists, and two steals to lead the Jets, who slowly pulled away from the Red Boosters in the last three quarters.

Yuki Togashi added 20 points on 6-for-13 shooting from long range, five assists, and one block for Chiba, which remained undefeated in Group A at 4-0.

Rhenz Abando made 17 points, two rebounds, one assist, and one block, while Darryl Monroe added 14 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, and two steals for Anyang, which fell to 2-1.

The scores:

Meralco (97) – Lofton 35, Newsome 27, Ibeh 15, Hodge 6, Almazan 5, Maliksi 5, Dario 2, Banchero 2, Quinto 0, Rios 0, Bates 0, Torres 0.

Ryukyu (88) – Law 27, Imamura 19, Kishimoto 15, Cooley 10, Onodera 9, Tashiro 4, Maki 2, Watanabe 2, Uematsu 0, Arakawa 0, Matsuwaki 0.

Quarterscores: 17-21; 38-37; 57-57; 80-all (reg); 97-88

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