29 February 2016

Bolts 96, GlobalPort 88

Anjo Caram
Meralco stretched their winning run after nosing out a shorthanded GlobalPort side, 96-88 Sunday (28 February 2016) in the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts matched the franchise’s best start at 5-0, a feat they also achieved in the same conference last season.

"It's a good feeling to keep the train rolling. We understand the format and the importance of winning as many games as possible. Moving to 5-0 is going to help us down the line in case we stumble a little bit," said Meralco head coach Norman Black.

Jared Dillinger led the Bolts with 17 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench, while Chris Newsome added 15 markers, eight of which coming in the payoff period.

Meralco import Arinze Onuaku tallied 13 points, 15 boards, five assists and four blocks after being hospitalized for two days due to food poisoning.

"We wanted to use this past week to get him in better shape, but we're not able to do that,” said Black, who went on to praise the effort of Onuaku.

Reynel Hugnatan also had 12 markers, while Anjo Caram got eight, including two huge buckets in the final four minutes.

Meralco broke an 80-all deadlock thanks to an 8-1 run, capped off by a Newsome fastbreak for an 88-81 lead with 2:02 remaining.

Terrence Romeo banked a triple from the right wing to trim the lead to four, but Hugnatan, Caram, and Newsome had all the answers in the clutch for the Bolts.

"I thought defensively, we were very solid. We executed well defensively and we tried to slow Terrence (Romeo) up as much as possible," said Black.

Calvin Warner led the way for the Batang Pier (2-3) with 29 points and 19 rebounds, while Romeo was held to 18 markers in a paltry 4-of-15 shooting from the field.

GlobalPort missed the services of its star point guard Stanley Pringle, who is out for two weeks due to a sprained right ankle.

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