TONY Bishop scored 32 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as Meralco exacted revenge on San Miguel, 100-85, on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the PBA 46th Season Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Bishop exploded for 18 points on four three-pointers in a third-quarter explosion that enabled the Bolts to break the game wide open and a avenge a heartbreaking elims loss to SMB where Meralco squandered a 26-point lead.
Meralco also held its original import choice, Shabazz Muhammad, to 24 points, which pale in comparison to the 57-point effort in the Beermen's great comeback win in the elims.
Bishop and the Bolts now march on to the semifinals where they will face the winner of the Magnolia-Phoenix quarterfinal playoff.
Meralco coach Norman Black said the goal on defense was to limit Muhammad to 30 points.
“We had about a week to prepare. The whole focus was, after what happened to us in the elimination round, to slow down Shabazz and not allow him to get another 57 points on us,” said Black.
Bishop was spot on as early as the second period, leading a 11-0 run that allowed Meralco to take the lead for good, 44-36. He hit all of his three-pointers in the third as the Bolts opened a commanding 74-53 lead.
Chris Newsome also delivered for the Bolts in a tense game marked by skirmishes between Cliff Hodge and Muhammad, tallying 22 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.
Muhammad grabbed 15 rebounds but shot just 8-of-19 from the field.
Terrence Romeo scored 17 points while June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez each had 12 points. But the Beermen bowed out early. They got as far the seventh game of the semifinals in the Philippine Cup playoffs against eventual champion TNT.
Meralco 100 – Bishop 32, Newsome 22, Banchero 9, Hugnatan 9, Almazan 8, Maliksi 6, Black 4, Hodge 4, Quinto 4, Baclao 2, Jose 0, Caram 0.
San Miguel 85 – Muhammad 24, Romeo 17, Fajardo 12, Perez 12, Ross 6, Lassiter 5, Brondial 5, Manuel 4, Tautuaa 0. Cruz 0.
Quarters: 26-26; 48-40; 79-61; 100-85.
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