MERALCO leaned on a sustained offensive to bring down Blackwater, 106-97, boosting its chances of making the playoff round in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Allen Durham totally outplayed Marqus Blakely of Blackwater as he provided the needed sparks, and got excellent help in offense from Raymond Almazan, Baser Amer and Nino Canaleta.
Durham came away with 27 points, hauled down 13 rebounds and issued seven assists as he got the better end of his duel with Blakely who managed just 15 points, although got more rebounds with 17, and had seven assists.
Almazan finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, with his follow-up of Anjo Caram’s miss giving the Bolts an 89-81 lead, after the Elite came to within 85-81 on Blakely’s basket with 7:50 remaining.
Amer added 17 points, six rebounds and eight assists and Canaleta chipped in 13 points for Meralco which chalked up its second straight win following a 95-89 spanking of Magnolia last October 16.
The Bolts strengthened their hold of the fourth spot in the provisional standings.
The Elite, who were coming off a 116-113 loss to Talk ‘N Text last October 12, reeled to their fourth loss in six outings despite getting double-digit scores from Mike DiGregorio Mike DiGregorio, Allein Maliksi, Bobby Ray Parks, Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Mac Belo.
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine is hoping to get out of the cellar beginning Wednesday when it parades new import in Kwame Alexander, who replaced Kayel Locke.
The Painters have been left stranded in the cellar with only a win to show in six outings in a tie with Alaska, and hopefully their decision to change their import would enable them to turn their nosedive campaign around in the season-ending conference.
Alexander, who joined the 2013 NBA draft but was not drafted, played for NLEX Road Warriors in the Governors’ Cup during the 2015 season.
Alexander, the third import of Rain or Shine this conference after Joel Wright and Locke, will make his debut next Wednesday in a game against Blackwater.
Interestingly, the Painters’ last loss came at the hands of the Aces, 78-71.
Meralco (106) - Durham 27, Almazan 19, Amer 17, Canaleta 13, Newsome 8, Quinto 8, Pinto 7, Faundo 3, Caram 2, Hugnatan 2.
Blackwater (97) - Digregorio 22, Blakely 15, Parks 12, Maliksi 12, Al-Hussaini 11, Belo 10, Cortez 4, Cruz 3, Desiderio 2, Sena 2, Sumang 2, Alolino 2.
Quarterscores: 22-20, 56-50, 80-74, 106-97.