John Wilson saves the day as Meralco escapes with OT win over Blackwater
Cliff Hodge led the way for Meralco with 26 points and 18 boards, but the Bolts needed the heroics of John Wilson in overtime to evade the upset ax against Blackwater. Jerome Ascano

JOHN Wilson rediscovered his shooting touch just in time to help Meralco escape with an 83-75 overtime victory over Blackwater in the PBA Philippine Cup on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-2 Wilson banged in all nine of his points in the extension period, including back-to-back three-pointers that gave Meralco the lead for good at 78-72 in a game it nearly threw away late in regulation.

Fil-Am forward Cliff Hodge also dished off a big double-double game with 26 points and 18 rebounds as Meralco moved into a share of the lead with idle Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer on 2-0 records.

Meralco wasted an 18-point lead in regulation and nearly lost it in the final seconds, but got a big break when referee Peter Balao called a jump ball instead of granting a timeout to Blackwater big man Jason Ballesteros during a rebound scramble with 2.2 seconds remaining in regulation period.

Both teams failed to get possession after the jump ball, leading to the overtime at 70-all.

“It seemed we had a pretty good flow in the first two quarters, but towards the end of the third, we started losing momentum,” said Black after the game.

“Our problem was our first team played very well today with Cliff rebounding and scoring. But fortunately, John Wilson made the big plays for us in overtime.”

Meralco scored 30 points off turnovers and enjoyed a sizeable 25-8 advantage in fastbreak points, but nearly faded in the end when expansion team Blackwater made a big run.

Rookie Juami Tiongson and Alex Nuyles led the Elite with 14 points apiece but couldn't save Blackwater from falling to its third successive defeat.

The scores:

MERALCO 83 - Hodge 26, Guevarra 10, Wilson 9, Anthony 9, David 7, Ildefonso 6, Ferriols 6, Atkins 4, Cortez 2, Dillinger 2, Hugnatan 2, Morrison 0, Buenafe 0, Sena 0, Macapagal 0.

BLACKWATER 75 - Nuyles 14, Menor 14, Faundo 10, Gamalinda 10, Artadi 6, Laure 6, Timberlake 5, Erram 4, Tiongson 2, Rodriguez 2, Ballesteros 2, Cawaling 0, Austria 0.

Quarterscores: 26-20, 44-32, 61-47, 70-70, 83-75

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