RASHAWN McCarthy fired a career-high 30 points to lift Columbian to an 86-85 win over Meralco on Wednesday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
McCarthy’s red-hot scoring staked Columbian to a lead that was barely enough to cushion a last-ditch Meralco comeback in the game's final stretch.
The Dyip took a six-point lead, 86-80, to the final minute but didn't breathe easy until Baser Amer and Cliff Hodge missed shots in the final six seconds.
That enabled Columbian to snap a three-game losing skid and improve to 3-4 (win-loss) as Meralco lost for the second straight time and fell to 2-4.
“Kala ko hindi na ako makakabalik dito (sa press room for the post-game interview) after three straight losses,” said Columbian coach Johnedel Cardel.
“In the long break, I gave the boys a four-day break to forget about basketball kasi ‘yung games namin, sunod-sunod at that time. Medyo nasunog ‘yung mga bata. Hindi kami naka-recover pero it’s a good start for us.”
McCarthy scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, converting two free throws in a 6-0 start that broke a 66-66 deadlock. He hit five more points including a trey that put the Dyip ahead, 86-80, with 2:29 left.
Columbian, however, had to endure anxious moments after Chris Newsome converted a three to cut the deficit to one point.
Glenn Khobuntin added 14 points while Eric Camson had 10 points for Columbian, which trailed by as many as 15 points in the contest.
Newsome scored 17 points while Hodge and Ranidel De Ocampo had 14 points each for Meralco.
Columbian 86 – McCarthy 30, Khobuntin 14, Camson 10, Perez 8, Corpuz 6, Cahilig 6, Escoto 4, Celda 3, Faundo 3, Calvo 2, Agovida 0.
Meralco 85 – Newsome 17, Hodge 14, De Ocampo 14, Amer 10, Salva 8, Quinto 7, Canaleta 5, Pinto 5, Tolomia 3, Hugnatan 2, Faundo 0, Jackson 0.
Quarters: 11-24; 42-45; 66-66; 86-85.