Meralco Bolts on the road to recovery after dealing sister team NLEX a beating
Meralco gunner Gary David pulls up for a jumper against NLEX. Jerome Ascano

MERALCO built a huge lead before surviving sister team NLEX’s spirited fourth quarter fightback to post a 90-75 victory in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Starting like a house on fire, the Bolts sped off to an early 14-2 lead before racing away to leads as big as 30 points, 69-39, late in the third period after a three-pointer by Mark Macapagal.

But the Road Warriors refused to just roll over and die, chipping away at the Bolts’ once-imposing advantage and bringing it down to 85-75, entering the final two minutes.

Meralco, however, held steady from there to book its third win in four starts and atone for a 41-point beating the Bolts suffered at the hands of Alaska in their previous outing.

“I can’t really explain to you how badly we lost to Alaska,” Meralco coach Norman Black said, referring to the team’s horror 105-64 defeat to the Aces on Halloween.

Black admitted that practice the past days was rough leading to its game against NLEX.

“But we try to keep everything positive, despite the fact that things around us were negative,” he added.

Statistically, Black couldn’t be happier as the Bolts’ defensive effort yielded a 25-10 turnover points advantage.

Meralco also shot 46 percent from the field (36-of-78), compared to NLEX’s 36 percent (25-of-69).

The scores:
Meralco 90 - David 23, Dillinger 17, Cortez 10, Caram 9, Anthony 7, Hugnatan 7, Macapagal 5, Hodge 4, Buenafe 4, Sena 4, Ferriols 0, Ildefonso 0, Guevarra 0, Atkins 0.
NLEX 75 - Taulava 24, Cardona 14, Baloria 14, Canaleta 9, Ramos 6, Villanueva E. 3, Apinan 3, Camson 2, Raymundo 0, Villanueva J. 0, Borboran 0, Arboleda W. 0, Arboleda H. 0, Poligrates 0.
Quarterscores: 25-11, 52-29, 71-51, 90-75

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