Bolts recover in time to whack Aces, 93-81

The Meralco Bolts lost a big 17-point lead early, but recovered in time to carve out a 93-81 victory over the Alaska Aces in the 2020 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Arena powered by Smart 5G, yesterday, Wednesday, October 14. 

Bolts recover in time to whack Aces, 93-81
Alaska Aces guard Mike DiGregorio tries to dribble past Meralco Bolts defender Chris Newsome during the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup game at the Angeles University Foundation gym. PBA
Allein Maliksi came off the bench but teamed up with Baser Amer to provide the crucial points in the fourth to push the Bolts to victory. 

Aaron Black drilled a triple early in the fourth to cap a blistering Meralco run which put the game away as the Bolts posted an unassailable 18-point, 76-58 advantage with nine minutes left to play.

 The match was virtually decided in the pivotal third period. Jeron Teng drove the length of the court, converted the layup and the bonus free throw to cut the Meralco lead to seven points, 42-49. Teng scored two more field goals, the second a triple, to push the Aces even closer, 47-49, with 7:27 left in the third. 

Mike DiGregorio penetrated inside to convert the floater and the bonus free throws as the Aces eventually tied the game, 52-all, late in the third. But Jeron Teng went out and the Aces lost their hold on the game eventually falling behind 58-65 after three quarters. 

Teng came back early in the fourth but by then the Bolts already had a 13-point 71-58 advantage and control of the game. 

Robbie Herndon and Rodney Brondial provided instant offense off the bench. Each drilled a three-pointer minutes after taking the floor to cut the Meralco advantage to one point, 13-14, with 4:32 to go in the first. 

Cliff Hodge converted a pair of free throws as the Bolts led by double-digits for the first time 38-27 with 7 minutes to go in the second. The Bolts continued to shoot better from the floor. Chris Newsome converted a pull-up jumper as the Bolts hiked their lead to 13, 42-29, with five left to play in the half. 

The Bolts eventually protected a 49-35 advantage after the first half.

The scores:

Meralco Bolts 93—Allein Maliksi 17, Baser Amer 15, Reynel Hugnatan 13, Cliff Hodge 11, Aaron Black 8, Raymar Jose 6, Chris Newsome 6, Raymond Almazan 5, Nard Pinto 5, Bong Quinto 5, Brian Faundo 2, Trevis Jackson 0.

Alaska Aces 81—Jeron Teng 25, Vic Manuel 18, Robbie Herndon 8, Rey Public 8, Abu Tratter 6, Mike DiGregorio 6, Rodney Brondial 5, Abel Galliguez 3, MJ Ayaay 2, Jvee Casio 0, Yutien Andrada 0, Barkley Ebona 0.

Quarter scores: 29-23; 49-35; 65-58; 93-81.        

Topics: Meralco Bolts , Alaska Aces , 2020 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup , Allein Maliksi
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