MERALCO completed a big fightback to frustrate San Mig Coffee, 72-64, and stay firmly in the middle of the pack in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts leaned on timely conversions from John Wilson, Reynel Hugnatan, and Jared Dilinger down the stretch as they climbed out of an enormous 18-point hole en route to levelling their win-loss record at 3-3.
They also added to the misery of the Mixers, who suffered a fifth loss in six games to remain second to the last in the 10-team standings just two months after ruling the Governors Cup.
“It’s a great testament of the fantastic resolve that we played out there,” Bolts coach Ryan Gregorio said. “We grinded with our small group.”
Gregorio chose to sit out misfiring starters Gary David and Mike Cortez in the endgame, and instead turned to Wilson, Hugnatan, and Dilinger, who scored all of the team’s 26 points in the payoff period, where they outscored the Mixers by 16 points.
The Mixers seemed poised for a blowout victory when they established a 51-33 cushion in the third quarter, but wound up with just 13 points from then on as they shot just 31.5 percent (23 of 73) from the field for the night.
Wilson, the spitfire guard from Angono, Rizal, fired 12 of his 19 points in the payoff period and gave the Bolts the lead for good at 58-56 to step up for the off night of David, who was held to five points on 2-of-11 shooting in 28 minutes of play.
Hugnatan finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Dilingner totalled 13 points, six rebounds, and four assists, while also putting the clamps on Mixers star James Yap, who scored a team-high 14 points, but had to take 23 attempts to reach his output.
Meralco (72) -- Wilson 19, Hugnatan 16, Dillinger 13, Al-Hussaini 7, David 5, Sena 4, Cortez 4, Salvacion 2, Guevarra 2, Timberlake 0, Allado 0.
San Mig Coffee (64) -- Yap 14, Pingris 12, Barroca 11, Simon 10, Sanggalang 7, Devance 3, Cawaling 3, Mallari 2, Reavis 2.
Quarterscores: 16-12; 29-37; 46-54; 72-64.