Badly beaten in their series-opener, the Meralco Bolts came out more prepared and hung tough for a crucial 124-117 overtime win over the TNT Tropang Giga in Game 2 of their best-of-five semifinal series in the 47th PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday, March 26, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Meralco bounced back from an 80-110 loss in Game 1 behind the endgame brilliance of Aaron Black, who completed a stellar double-double that helped the Bolts reduce the series into a best-of-three affair.
After scoring just seven points in their 30-point loss in Game 1, Black exploded for 28 points anchored on an efficient 12-for-19 shooting from the field.
Black also added 10 assists and five rebounds in a solid showing that complemented the equally stellar game of Meralco import KJ McDaniels.
McDaniels exploded for 39 points after scoring a meager 12 in their blowout defeat in Game 1.
Black provided Meralco a huge spark early in the overtime period when he scored four points in a 6-0 run that enabled the Bolts to turn a 114-tie into a 120-114 cushion.
Cliff Hodge, Allein Maliksi and Bong Quinto also scored in twin digits and combined for 37 points.
Mikey Williams paced the Tropa with 29 points, while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 27 markers.
The TNT import, however, missed a crucial free throw in the dying seconds of regulation that could have completed the Tropa’s comeback from a 10-point halftime deficit.
With his team down by two, 110-112, Hollis-Jefferson was fouled by Quinto while attempting a three-pointer with 7.6 seconds left in regulation.
The former NBA player, however, could only make two of his three gift shots, while Meralco failed to convert in the next play that sent the match into overtime.
Jayson Castro added 17 points for TNT, while Calvin Oftana, RR Pogoy and Justin Chua contributed 13, 12 and 11, respectively.
MERALCO (124)– McDaniels 39, Black 28, Hodge 15, Maliksi 11, Quinto 11, Banchero 7, Newsome 5, Caram 3, Jose 3, Almazan 2.
TNT (117)– M.Williams 29, Hollis-Jefferson 27,Castro 17, Oftana 13, Pogoy 12, Chua 11, Erram 6, Marcelo 2, Khobuntin 0, Varilla 0, Montalbo 0.
QUARTERS: 35-30, 59-49, 86-86, 112-112, 124-117.
Image courtesy of PBA Media Bureau
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