Meralco subdues SMB to take PBA PH Cup Finals opener

Chris Newsome displayed another solid all-around game for Meralco. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Meralco recovered from a hot second quarter from San Miguel to score a 93-86 win in Game 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Despite letting the Beermen take a slight lead at the end of the period, the Bolts held them to just 20 points in the first quarter.

However, SMB fired 31 in the second period as they took a 51-45 halftime lead.

Meralco turned things around in the second half, outscoring SMB, 26-21, in the third frame before holding them to just 14 in the final canto to pull away.

The Bolts' two Chrises, Chris Newsome and Chris Banchero, each tallied 18 points as they took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

June Mar Fajardo had 23 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks, while CJ Perez added 20 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals for the Beermen.

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