Last year’s Governor’s Cup finalist Meralco started its campaign on a high note, with a resounding 107-78 triumph over Blackwater on Friday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Governor’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Riding on a strong start, the Bolts established a 30-8 lead behind Allen Durham’s split free throw with less than three minutes left in the first quarter and they never relinquished their advantage the rest of the way.
Baser Amer powered Meralco’s first victory this conference with 20 points, six rebounds and eight assists, while Durham tallied 18 points, 21 rebounds and four assists. Jared Dillinger had 14 points, while Chris Newsome finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
“That is the benefit of playing with multiple players who are playing pretty well. There are players who will pick you up if you’re not playing your best, and that’s the case tonight,” said Amer, last year best import. “If we can do that the rest of the conference, we will be a dangerous team.”
Garvo Lanete scored 15 points—all from the three-point territory— and Cliff Hodge contributed 11 points.
“It’s exactly the type of start we hoped for,” said Meralco coach Norman Black. “We played well in our two exhibition games. We do have the reigning best import, so that give us the opportunity to do well.”
Import Trevis Simpson posted 25 points while Bam Gamalinda had 10 points to lead Blackwater.
MERALCO 107 – Amer 20, Durham 18, Lanete 15, Dillinger 14, Newsome 13, Hodge 11, Hugnatan 4, Nabong 4, Caram 2, Yeo 2, Sedurifa 2, Faundo 2, Chua 0, Atkins 0.
BLACKWATER 78 – Simpson 25, Gamalinda 10, Sena 7, Cruz 7, Digregorio 6, Sumang 5, Erram 4, Canaleta 3, Pascual 3, Aguilar 2, Miranda 2, Banal 2, Cervantes 2, Buenafe 0, Pinto 0.
Quarters: 32-15, 63-34, 88-52, 107-78