MERALCO leaned on a third quarter breakaway to score a 106-93 rout of NLEX and barge into the win column of the PBA Philippine Cup Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Chris Newsome starred in a vicious scoring run spanning five minutes in the third which eventually carried them to their first win after falling in ambush last Sunday to Blackwater.
Newsome scored seven points, including a booming triple, during a telling 14-0 scoring binge which gave the Bolts a 74-62 lead, with a little over three minutes remaining in the third period.
Coming off the bench, Raul Soyud responded with three straight baskets as NLEX narrowed the gap once more at the end of the third, 77-79.
The Road Warriors though failed to sustain their heat all the way to the fourth and allowed the Bolts to charge back and post lead by as many as 96-87, again on Newsome’s triple.
“We felt that it’s very important that we match NLEX’s energy in this game,” said Meralco coach Norman Black, noting that the Road Warriors are noted for their pick n’ roll play.
“Our pick n’ roll defense was pretty good today, slowed them down a little. Am happy to get that first win in the All-Filipino,” added Black, who also gave kind words for rookie Ed Daquioag.
“Hat’s off to my rookie Ed Daquioag who was exceptional tonight, who was very relaxed, he played like a veteran today,” said Black of his rookie.
The Road Warriors, who were coming off a 99-97 win over Alaska last Nov. 25, fell to 1-1 despite six of them finishing in double figures.
Newsome finished with 28 points, Daquioag added 23, Cliff Hodge 12 while Anjo Caram and Kelly Nabong chipped in 11 points each for the Bolts, the losing finalists in the last Governors’ Cup.
Meralco (106) - Newsome 28, Daquioag 23, Hodge 12, Caram 11, Nabong 11, Yeo 7, Grey 6, chua 4, Al-Hussaini 2, Faundo 2, Amer 0, Bono 0, Hugnatan 0, Uyloan 0.
NLEX (93) - Anthony 15, Camson 14, Lanete 14, Soyud 14, Alas 10, Lastimosa 10, Villanueva J. 7, Baracael 5, Guinto 4, Khobuntin 0, Monfort 0, Taulava 0.
Quarterscores: 21-25, 56-54, 79-77, 106-93