18 February 2016

Bolts 98, Elastopainters 95

Meralco Bolts vs Rain or Shine
Meralco stretched its unblemished winning start to three games with a scrambling 98-95 win over Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last 17 February 2016.

The Bolts squandered a 26-point first-half lead and flirted with disaster, but survived, notching a third triumph following earlier wins over the Star Hotshots and the Tropang TNT Texters.

The Elasto Painters made an amazing fightback in the second half minus import Wayne Chism who was hit by a hamstring pull at the onset of the third period.

From a precarious 93-92 lead, the Bolts drew clutch baskets from third-string guard Anjo Caram and import Arinze Onuaku, and made the needed stoppages in the closing seconds to salvage the game and the keep the solo lead with a 3-0 win-loss card.

Rain or Shine suffered a first loss following a winning debut over the Star Hotshots, 95-86.

Onuaku came through with 31 points and 27 rebounds.

"You led by as many as 26 points. Their import went out and then the game became close. Oh boy!" said Meralco coach Norman Black after the game.

"But we're coming from a 1-10 conference. We'll take any win that we can get," he added.

Practically in a huff, Rain or Shine razed a huge deficit and got back into the fight in the third period.

With Chism being attended in the dugout, the E-Painters went on a whirlwind attack, pulling even at 76-all going into the payoff frame.

Pummeling the E-Painters in the second quarter, the Bolts stormed to a 61-36 halftime lead from a slim 19-15 margin at the start of the second period.

Onuaku and Jared Dillinger showed the way in their breakaway as they outscored the entire RoS team, 24-21, in the second period.

The Bolts frolicked with a 65-percent shooting as against the E-Painters’ 40-percent clip as Meralco walloped RoS by a total of 21 points in the second quarter.

Ken Bono nailed two charities and knocked in a short jumper to cap a 13-to-nothing run that shoved the Bolts to a 26-spread at 57-31.
Onuaku had had double-double numbers with 18 points and 15 rebounds by the half, with Cliff Hodge and Dillinger adding 10 points apiece.

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