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    Maliksi-Newsome 1-2 punch downs Phoenix as Meralco gets back on track

    Jul 28, 2021
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    MERALCO proved too much for Phoenix, 91-80, as the Bolts regained their winning ways in the PBA Philippine Cup.

    Meralco vs Phoenix recap

    Allein Maliksi and Chris Newsome served as the Bolts' double dagger in the game that was briefly halted as the Ynares Sports Arena playing court was rendered unplayable following the heavy downpour Wednesday night.

    Maliksi finished with 24 points and Newsome added 23 for the Bolts, who managed to bounce back after losing to Rain or Shine the last time.

    Meralco improved to a 3-1 record.

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      "Our defense was pretty solid again tonight, which is really the key for us," said Meralco coach Norman Black.

      "Even in our last game, our defense wasn't that bad. It was our offense that was really bad. Our offense was a little bit better tonight."

      Maliksi was at the forefront of the Bolts' offensive might, shooting 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, while adding seven rebounds.

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      Newsome was just as hot from deep by going 3-of-5 and then having four rebounds and seven assists.

      The two presided in an early Meralco assault that had the team racing to a 48-32 lead at halftime.

      The Bolts were just holding to a seven-point spread at the 4:07 mark of the second quarter when the heavy downpour forced a stoppage to the game as leak from the roof of the venue rendered the court unplayable.

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      But when action resumed, Meralco went on a 15-6 run to stretch its lead to 18 at the break.

      The Bolts enjoyed as much as an 84-63 edge late in the final quarter.

      Matthew returned for Phoenix after a sprained ankle forced him to miss the team's last game against Alaska. He topscored with 29 points, but not enough to prevent the Fuel Masters from absorbing their third loss in four outings.

      The setback also spoiled the first game of new acquisition Chris Banchero for the Fuel Masters. The Fil-Italian guard scored just a single point and three assists in 28 minutes of play.

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      The scores

      Meralco (91) -- Maliksi 24, Newsome 23, Pinto 11, Hugnatan 11, Belo 9, Almazan 3, Hodge 7, Black 3, Quinto 0, Jackson 0, Canete 0, Jamito 0.

      Phoenix (80) -- Wright 29, Manuel 13, Jazul 12, Perkins 9, , Chua 4 , Pascual, 4, Demusis 3, Garcia 3, Faundo 2, Banchero 1, Muyang 0, Melecio 0, Rios 4.

      Quarterscores: 21-16; 48-32; 73-57; 91-76.

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      PHOTO: PBA Images
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