Delroy James did not let the Meralco Bolts roll over and die. James scored the game’s final four points to lift Meralco to a hard-fought 95-91 victory over San Miguel Beer last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to stay alive in the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
The burly reinforcement, who finished with a game-high 34 points, took it upon himself in the final minute to carry the Bolts and make sure they live to fight another day.
In two isolation plays in the closing minute, James scored on consecutive occasions to win the game for Meralco which earned a playoff for the eighth and final quarterfinals berth.
The Bolts will face the Aces tomorrow to see who gets to move forward to the next round.
With the game knotted at 91-all with under two minutes left, James sank a go-ahead hook shot with 1:03 left to give Meralco a 93-91 lead.
In the Bolts’ succeeding play, he then sank a lay-up in traffic for insurance, making it 95-91 with 32.3 seconds remaining.
The Beermen went dry in their final plays, allowing Meralco to hold on and keep its hopes alive for a spot in the next round.
For the Beermen, who finished at 5-6, they need Magnolia to win in the last game for them to enter the top six and avoid a No. 7 finish and a twice-to-win disadvantage in the quarters.
TNT KaTropa (9-1) and Magnolia (5-5) are battling each other as of this report in the final game of the eliminations to see who gets a better seeding heading to the quarters.
The Tropang Texters are looking to lock the No. 1 seed while the Hotshots aim on climbing the top six.
Chris Newsome added 20 points for Meralco.
The Beermen were led by June Mar Fajardo and Chris McCullough’s 27 points, apiece.
San Miguel played minus playmaker Alex Cabagnot, who sat out due to sickness.
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