ANTIPOLO – Meralco produced a dominant showing to regain its winning ways, defeating NorthPort, 97-87, on Thursday in the PBA 47th season Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center.
Meralco vs NorthPort recap
The Bolts led by as many as 27 points after Aaron Black made a triumphant comeback from after missing the previous game in a loss to TNT last Saturday.
Chris Banchero, Allein Maliksi, and even Raymar Jose also provided the lift for the Bolts, who improved their record to 3-1 win-loss and grab a share of second place with Barangay Ginebra in the team standings.
NorthPort continued its slump as it fell to 2-3 after its third consecutive defeat.
Black scored 20 points in his first game back since he suffered an injury in his left wrist. He also drained back-to-back baskets to give Meralco a 97-80 lead after a late run by NorthPort.
Banchero had 16 points and Allein Maliksi also had 16 points including four threes. A seldom-used big man prior to the conference, Jose churned in a near double-double as he had nine points and 13 rebounds for the Bolts, who missed Raymond Almazan due to health and safety protocols.
“We also realized that NorthPort is not a very big team so we can actually match up with them in this game size-wise,” said Meralco coach Norman Black. “We just want to bounce back from our loss to Talk ‘N Text. I thought we played pretty good defense but our offense was really off. Tonight, our offense flowed a lot better and our defense held up for us.
Jamie Malonzo had 21 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and two blocks for NorthPort.
Meralco 97 – Black 20, Banchero 16, Maliksi 16, Hugnatan 11, Quinto 9, Jose 9, Newsome 7, Baclao 4, Pasaol 3, Hodge 2, Belo 0, Caram 0.
NorthPort 87 – Malonzo 21, Bolick 15, Santos 11, Calma 10, Ayaay 10, Sumang 9, Balanza 9, Dela Cruz 2, Apacible 0, Javier 0, Ferrer 0.
Quarters: 32-22; 56-37; 83-61; 97-87.
We are now on Quento! Download the app to enjoy more articles and videos from SPIN.ph and other Summit Media websites.