Meralco snaps out of slump, waylays Blackwater behind Onuaku, Amer heroics
Baser Amer went a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point land for Meralco. Jaime Campos

MERALCO vented its ire on Blackwater, hammering a 106-83 victory to regain the solo lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Bolts built an early lead and never showed any letup as they clicked on all cylinders on the way to snapping a two-game skid and jacking up their win-loss record to 6-2, a half-game ahead of Alaska.

Arinze Onuaku anchored the Bolts with 27 points and 17 boards, but it was Baser Amer who provided the biggest spark off the bench, waxing hot with 15 points on a perfect 4-of-4 clip from beyond the arc.

The Elite were on the back foot from the get-go and failed to get any rhythm going as they suffered their fifth loss in eight games.

“It was a good, overall team effort,” Bolts coach Norman Black said. “Defensively we were very solid. Offensively, we did a better job in sharing the ball and game always becomes easier when you make your shots.”

The Bolts made 41 of their 90 shots for a solid 46 percent from the field and forced the Elite to 14 turnovers.

Onuaku set the tone for the rout and in closing out the Elite, scoring 17 points in the first and fourth quarters, including two on a stab that gave the Bolts their biggest lead at 103-79.

The Meralco import also left a huge imprint in limiting Blackwater counterpart MJ Rhett to just eight points – all from the foul line – in 39 minutes.

Amer caught fire early as the Davao native needed just three quarters to reach his total output.

Carlo Lastimosa and Mike Cortez led the Elite, but were combined for just four points in the payoff period.

 

The scores:

MERALCO 106 – Onuaku 27, Amer 15, Buenafe Ry. 11, Alapag 8, Hodge 7, Buenafe Ro. 6, Caram 6, Hugnatan 6, Newsome 6, Bono 4, Dillinger 4, Faundo 4, Ferriols 2, Guevarra 0

BLACKWATER 83 – Lastimosa 16, Cortez 15, Dela Cruz 10, Rhett 8, Reyes 7, Vosotros 7, Erram 6, Sena 4, Cervantes 3, Bulawan 2, Gamalinda 2, Tiongson 2, Agovida 1, Ballesteros 0, Agovida 0

Quarterscores: 30-21, 52-35, 81-62, 106-83.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos