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PBA: Bong Quinto takes over late as Meralco rallies to beat Terrafirma

Bong Quinto came alive down the stretch for the Bolts. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Bong Quinto shone brightly in the end even as Cliff Hodge grabbed crucial offensive rebounds down the stretch to lead Meralco to an 86-83 win against Terrafirma in their PBA Philippine Cup game on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Quinto went to work in the last two minutes, first scoring a go-ahead three off a Hodge assist for an 82-81 lead.

Hodge then saved the Bolts momentarily by grabbing the offensive rebound off Quinto's missed free throw, although Dyip coach John Cardel successfully challenged a foul on a Terrafirma defender off Chris Newsome's jumper.

Allein Maliksi, though, stole the ball off Stephen Holt's kick-out pass and found Quinto wide open down low for the layup to give Meralco an 85-81 cushion with 14 seconds remaining.

Holt made up for his error by making two free throws with six seconds left to cut the lead down to two, 85-83.

Quinto thought he kept the door open for Terrafirma to force overtime after settling for another split from the free-throw line, but Hodge once again saved the day by getting the offensive rebound as Meralco ran the clock in the end.

Quinto finished with 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting, seven rebounds, and four assists for the Bolts, who tied their victims at 3-3.

Norbert Torre added 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, five rebounds, two blocks, and one steal.

Holt and Juami Tiongson each scored 20 points with the latter also grabbing 10 rebounds for the Dyip, who blew an 11-point lead in the third quarter.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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