Zach Lofton explodes for 54 in PBA debut, spoils Fran Yu's 31-point blast as Meralco snaps NorthPort's streak

Zach Lofton's PBA debut was nothing short of fantastic. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—Zach Lofton made a good account of himself in his PBA debut as he led Meralco to a 125-99 romp against NorthPort on Sunday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

Lofton, who replaced the injured Su Braimoh as the Bolts' PBA import, put up 54 points, the second most by any Meralco player in a single game, even as they clamped down the Batang Pier in the second and third quarters after a slow start.

Entering the second period down, 25-16, Meralco went off for 33 points in the second quarter to take a 49-48 halftime lead.

The team then outscored NorthPort, 43-16, in the third period to pull away for good.

Lofton, also one of the Bolts' two EASL imports, went 17-of-29 from the field including 9-of-19 from beyond the arc for his explosive PBA debut even as he also had seven rebounds, four assists, and one steal.

Allein Maliksi added 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting, four rebounds, one assist, and one block for Meralco, which moved up to 5-1, a half-game below Ginebra for second place, with its third straight win.

Fran Yu exploded for 31 points on 6-of-10 shooting from three-point range with one rebound and one steal to lead the Batang Pier, who saw their own three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 5-3.

Arvin Tolentino added 25 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals, while Venky Jois put up nine points, nine rebounds, five assists, one block, and two steals in his return after missing their stunning Friday night win against the San Miguel Beermen.

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