MERALCO turned to Chris Newsome when it mattered most to escape with a thrilling 109-104 win over Magnolia in overtime in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena in Pampanga.
Newsome scored eight of his team-high 23 points in the extra period, including a difficult fallaway jumper with nine seconds left, to power the Bolts to their second win in four matches.
Newsome’s heroics came after Mark Barroca hit a jumper to put Magnolia to within 104-105 with 46 seconds left and Reynel Hugnatan missed a short stab and the ball batted back to Newsome.
A miss by Paul Lee of Magnolia and two free throws by Raymond Almazan of Meralco finalized the score.
“We really had a good chance to win it in regulation but we missed a free throw and allowed them to get to the line,”said Meralco coach Norman Black after the grind-out win.
“In overtime I said: ‘Hey, we still have a chance. Let’s go and win it. Let’s talk about what had happened later. And the guys played to win the game.”
Newsome also finished with seven rebounds and six assists.
Meralco got a big lift from rook7es Aaron Black, who finished with 16 points, four rebounds, four assists and one steal; and Trevis Jackson, who scored all his 10 points in the payoff period including three three-pointers.
Cliff Hodge, Bong Quinto, Almazan, Hugnatan, Allein Maliksi and Jammer Jamito also scored in double figures in a balanced Meralco offense.
Veteran Paul Lee led the way for Magnolia with 32 points, including six triples.
Lee nailed two free throws to send the game into overtime. He added four more foul shots as the Hotshots went up 98-96 early in the overtime period.
Mark Barroca added 17 points and Chris Banchero and Jio Jalalon contributed 13 points for Magnolia, which missed the services of Ian Sangalang and Rome de la Rosa due to injuries.
Jack Corpuz had 12 points.
Actually, Magnolia led by 10 points, 77-67, early in the fourth period.
Meralco, however, came charging back with a 9-0 run capped by a triple by Trevis Jackson. to move within 76-77.
Black then hit a long triple to tie the score at 79-all.
Meralco (109) – Newsome 23, Black 16, Hodge 12, Hugnatan 11, Jackson 10, Almazan 8, Jamito 8, Maliksi 8, Quinto 8, Pinto 4, Amer 1, Caram 0. Magnolia (104) – Lee 32, Barroca 17, Banchero 13, Jalalon 13, Corpuz 12, Melton 6, Pascual 4, Reavis 4, Dionisio 3, Calisaan 0. Quarterscores: 19-25, 46-46, 67-73, 94-94, 109-104.