18 June 2018

Bolts 89, Aces 74

Meralco put to halt Alaska's winning streak in the PBA Commissioner's Cup following a methodical 89-74 victory last 17 June at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts went on a third quarter tear behind the trio of Chris Newsome, Jared Dillinger, and import Arinze Onuaku to finally take control of the game pitting two of the league's most disciplined teams.

Meralco outscored Alaska during that critical period, 32-17, to stretch a slim one-point edge at the half to 73-57 heading to the final quarter.

The fourth straight win by the Bolts tied them with their victim at second place with similar 7-2 records as the Aces' conference-long seventh straight win finally came to an end.

"Critical game for us if we wanted to try to get that twice-to-beat advantage. Now that we were able to beat Alaska at least we can now start to focus on that," said winning coach Norman Black.

"Once again it was a good team effort on our part."

Indeed, it was as six Meralco players finished in double figures led by the 18 of Chris Newsome, who also had eight assists and four rebounds. Dillinger and Baser Amer added 17 each, while Onuaku was simply a force inside with 14 points and 23 rebounds.

Newsome, Dillinger, and Onuaku combined for 23 of Meralco 32 points during that huge third quarter run.

Amer meanwhile, finished 4-of-8 from three-point range, while Newsome was 3-of-4.

"Our defense was exceptional tonight to be able to hold down the Alaska team. In addition to that we really have good balance scoring on the offensive end, a lot of guys contributed offensively so there's a good balance," added Black, who also got major contributions from KG Canaleta (10 pts) and Ranidel de Ocampo (10 pts).

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