MERALCO continued to click on all cylinders as it overwhelmed hapless Kia, 112-97, to sustain its electrifying start to the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Allen Durham, who came up one assist shy of a triple-double against Ginebra two games back, got over the hump this time as he registered 25 points, 13 assists, and 11 boards, on top of two blocks to power the Bolts to their fourth straight win and the solo lead.
Chris Newsome, Baser Amer, and Garvo Lanete also delivered among the locals of the Bolts, who kept the Picanto winless in five games, leaving their victims stuck at the opposite end of the standings.
“I thought it was a very good effort from my team offensively and defensively,” Bolts coach Norman Black said. “We wanted to be very focused going into this game, we didn't want to stumble because our goal is to stay in the Top Four and get a twice-to-beat advantage.”
“I think AD should be given a lot of credit for this game,” he added of his do-it-all import. “He is really the one who has led our attempt to be very unselfish this conference.
After all, Durham, the reigning Best Import, registered more assists than rebounds for the Bolts, who dished out 31 assists as a unit compared to just 20 by the Picanto.
It was the second triple-double output this conference after TNT import Michael Craig Jr. also put up the same numbers in his debut for the Texters also against Kia.
The Bolts cruised to the blowout victory even without Cliff Hodge in the second half after the energetic forward sprained his ankle halfway through second quarter and never returned.
Reynel Hugnatan also sprained an ankle late in a third quarter where the Bolts were enjoying their biggest lead at 24, 76-52.
Markeith Cummings led the Picanto with 20 points in 36 minutes, but only scored half of his output in the first three quarters when his team fell into a huge hole.
MERALCO 112 - Durham 25, Newsome 19, Amer 17, Lanete 14, Caram 8, Dillinger 8, Nabong 7, Hugnatan 6, Chua 4, Faundo 4, Hodge 0, Daquioag 0, Sedurifa 0
KIA 97 - Cummings 20, Celda 17, Khobuntin 13, Yee 11, Nimes 8, Corpuz 8, Revilla 6, Deutchman 5, Paniamogan 4, Camson 3, Ballesteros 2, Elorde 0, Teng 0, Salva 0
Quarterscores: 26-15, 57-41, 82-66, 112-97