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Seventh win for Meralco, Magnolia

Kelly Nabong
Kelly Nabong of NorthPort battles two Meralco defenders. PBA photo

ALMOST but not enough for Meralco.

Meralco brought down NorthPort, 80-73, at the end of the elimination round in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Center in Pampanga.

Sophomore guard Bong Quinto finishedwith with 14 points, eight rebounds and two assists and Chris Newsome and Raymond Almazan added 11 points apiece for the Bolts, who closed out their elimination round record with seven wins and four losses.

Although Meralco finished with the same record as the other teams at the top end of the standings, the quirk of the quotient denied it of a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.

The Bolts now need to win twice in the quarterfinals against a still undetermined opponent to advance to the semifinals of the All-Filipino Conference for the very first time.

It will be another tough task, but Meralco coach Norman Black believes it can be done.

Obviously, we have to play good basketball. We have to win two games to make it to the semis,” said Black on the eve of his 63rd birthday.“Hopefully if you can get that first win, you put a little pressure on the team that has the twice-to-win advantage.

Baser Amer and Travis Jacskon added 10 points apiece for the Bolts, who gave veteran big man Reynel Hugnatan a rest due to a sore knee.

Jervy Cruz had 15 points for the Batang Pier.

Magnolia routed Blackwater, 95-80, to join the expected logjam for second spot wuth 7-4:slates.

Ian Sangalang, Chris Banchero, Aris Dionisio

Mark Barroca and Paul Lee scored in double figures for the Hotdogs, who wrapped up their campaign with six straight wins.

No matter what, we need to respect the game, our opponent and ourselves,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.

KG Canaleta had 14 points as Blackwater wound up 10th with a 2-9 record.

In a no-bearing game, NLEX defeated Terrafirma, 127-101, behind Kiefer Ravena’s 23 points to finish with a 5-6 record.

Veteran Asi Taulava was the “Best Player of the Game” with 11 points and three blocks.

CJ Perez topscored with 27 markers.

The scores:

First game
NLEX (127) — Ravena 23, Soyud 16, Cruz 12, Semerad 11, Taulava 11, Paniamogan 9, Ayonayon 9, McAloney 9, Miranda 8, Ighalo 7, Galanza 7, Quinahan 5, Varilla 0.
Terrafirma (101) — Perez 27, Khobuntin 18, Ramos 15, Camson 10, , Cahilig 8, Celda 7, Tiongson 6, Batiller 4, Faundo 3, Balagasay 2, Gabayni 1, Agovida 0.
Quarterscores: 23-26-55-44, 97-71, 127-101.

Second game
Meralco (80) — Quinto 14, Newsome 11, Almazan 11, Amer 10, Jackson 10, Jamito 6, Black 5, Faundo 4, Maliksi 3, Salva 2, Caram 2, Hodge 2, Pinto 0, Jose 0.
NorthPort (73) — Cruz 15, Taha 14 , Nabong 14, Subido 9,Ferrer 9, Guinto 7, Manganti 2, Revilla 2, Elorde 1.
Quarterscores: 23-14; 39-30; 67-50; 80-73.

Third game
Magnolia (95) — Sangalang 17 , Banchero 14, Dionisio 12, Barroca 11, Lee 10, Dela Rosa 9, Jalalon 8, Melton 3, Abundo 3, Corpuz 2, Reavis 2, Calisaan 2, Saitanan 2.
Blackwater (80)– Canaleta 14, Trollano 13, Sumang 9, Belo 8, Dario 8, Gabriel 8,Dennison 6, Escoto 4, Tolomia 4,Dario 3, Magat 3, Magat 3, Salem 3, Golla 0.
Quarterscores: 32-15; 48-36; 73-56; 95-80.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Ed Andaya
Sports Editor - People's Tonight