MERALCO flashed its potential with a recharged lineup as it zapped Alaska, 106-78, to send the Aces on the verge of elimination in the PBA Governors' Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Reinforced by trade recruit Ranidel de Ocampo, the Bolts broke the game wide open in the second quarter on the way to the blowout victory.
Mike Tolomia, another recent trade recruit, provided a huge spark off the bench as he fired 24 points after knocking down all his six treys for the Bolts, who registered a seventh win in nine games to gain a piece of the lead with Ginebra.
Allen Durham continued to anchor the Bolts with 26 points, 18 boards, and six assists as they handed the Aces their seventh loss in 10 games.
"The players came out and played really well with (De Ocampo's) addition," Bolts coach Norman Black said. "They obviously took it very positively, the fact that he entered our team."
De Ocampo contributed 10 points, spiked by two triples, along with two boards, and one assist in 17 minutes, but his mere presence indeed inspired the rest of the Bolts and made the squad more formidable in their bid to get over the hump after falling short in the finals in the last edition.
Baser Amer sustained his fine play with 17 points, three rebounds, and two assists as he conspired with fellow playmaker Chris Newsome, who added 10 points, six caroms, and three assists, in orchestrating the offense of the Bolts, who led by as many as 31 points.
Buck Henton led the Aces with 23 points and 10 boards in a losing effort.
MERALCO 106 - Durham 26, Tolomia 24, Amer 17, Newsome 10, De Ocampo 10, Hodge 8, Lanete 5, Nabong 3, Caram 2, Atkins 0, Yeo 0, Sedurifa 0, Hugnatan 0, Faundo 0.
ALASKA 78 - Henton 23, Casio 18, Manuel 10, Abueva 8, Racal 8, Enciso 3, Banchero 3, Exciminiano 2, Pascual 2, Mendoza 1, Thoss 0, Baclao 0, Galliguez 0.
Quarterscores: 28-22, 58-35, 78-59, 106-78