Meralco shoots down Star anew as surging Bolts close in on return trip to finals
Ranidel de Ocampo gave the Bolts a huge spark off the bench to move closer to a return to the Governors Cup finals. Jerome Ascano

STA. ROSA – Meralco showed what it can do against Star even with a bad start. What more if they started strong?

The Bolts picked up from where they left off from a come-from-behind 72-66 win in the series opener as they added to the frustrations of the Hotshots with a 98-74 victory to move on the verge of returning to the finals of the PBA Governors’ Cup.

Allen Durham delivered another workmanlike effort, while Ranidel de Ocampo provided a huge spark off the bench as the Bolts banked on a 30-11 first quarter start and never looked back en route to the blowout victory in Game Two of their semifinal series at the Alonte Arena.

“We did a good job in sustaining our efforts tonight from start to finish,” Bolts coach Norman Black said. “Offensively and defensively, I thought we executed very well and I thought we did a better job beating their pressure defense.

The Bolts can complete a sweep of the Hotshots with a win in Game Three of the best-of-five series on Thursday night at the Big Dome.

And that was made possible after the Bolts made 12 of their 18 shots in the first quarter, while catching the Hotshots on an off night, making just five of their first 22 attempts in the opening period as Meralco opened with a 19-point first-quarter lead.

The Bolts kept their foot on the gas pedal as they maintained a sizeable lead that ballooned to 30 points a couple of time, the second at 78-48, after a Cliff Hodge breakaway layup to end the third quarter.  

Durham anchored the attack, scoring all his 18 points in the first three quarters as he hauled down 25 rebounds, and completed another splendid showing with five assists and three blocks in 36 minutes, while De Ocampo added 18 points, three boards, three assists, and one block in in 26 minutes.

Jared Dillinger continued his hot shooting as he knocked down six treys for a total of 18 points, along with four boards, and three assists, without committing a single turnover in 27 minutes.

Baser Amer ran the show again and finished with 16 points, eight assists, three rebounds, and one steal, while Chris Newsome was the other Meralco player who scored in double digits, also adding four boards, four assists, two steals, and one block – numbers that negated a late flagrant foul on Mark Barroca that sparked the Hotshots’ late stand.

Barroca led the Hotshtos with 16 points in 32 minutes, while Mon Abundo took advantage of extended minutes and finished with 14 points in almost 16 minutes as import Kris Acox could only contribute nine points and 12 boards.



The scores: 

MERALCO 98 – Dillinger 18, De Ocampo 18, Durham 18, Amer 16, Newsome 10, Hodge 9, Tolomia 7, Faundo 2, Yeo 0, Lanete 0, Sedurifa 0, Caram 0, Hugnatan 0

STAR 74 – Barroca 16, Abundo 14, Acox 9, Ramos 8, Sangalang 6, Melton 5, Pingris 5, Reavis 4, Dela Rosa 4, Brondial 3, Lee 0, Jalalon 0, Simon 0, Gamalinda 0

Quarterscores: 30-11, 53-32, 78-48, 98-74

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