Meralco weathered Mahindra’s fourth quarter storm to prevail with a narrow 86-83 win on Sunday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Import Allen Durham piled up 34 points on 11-of-16 shooting in the field, including the go-ahead basket in the last 46 seconds, plus 17 rebounds and three blocks to help the Bolts grab a 6-5 win-loss record, strengthening their chances of securing a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals.
“It’s actually nice to win a close game,” Meralco coach Norman Black told reporters during the post game interview. “This is a little bit scary. The ball bounced our way today and we won the game. Mahindra has really improved this conference.”
“Their coach [Chris Gavina] did a really good job. We just have to wait and sit back to see who we’ll going to play next.”
Swingman Jared Dillinger scored 12 points and hauled down eight rebounds, while rookie guard Chris Newsome had 10 points and five rebounds and veteran forward Reynel Hugnatan contributed nine points and seven rebounds also for the Bolts.
After controlling the first three quarters, the Bolts were shackled by the Enforcer’s furious 21-11 fourth quarter storm highlighted by the baskets of import James White, Aldrech Ramos and Mark Yee to seize the advantage at 83-82 with less than two-minute left in the game.
But Durham scored the go-ahead basket with 46 seconds left and the Enforcers couldn’t score in the remaining seconds. Durham calmly sank two free throws with 1.2 ticks left to peg the final count.
White posted 27 points on 10-of-19 shooting n the field along with 12 rebounds and Ramos had 17 points and nine rebounds to lead Mahindra.
The Enforcers dropped to 6-5 win-loss record but still remained in contention for a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
MERALCO 86—Durham 34, Dillinger 12, Newsome 10, Hugnatan 9, Alapag 7, Amer 4, Hodge 3, Uyloan 3, Faundo 2, Nabong 2, Al-Hussaini 0.
MAHINDRA 83—White 27, Ramos 17, Revilla 12, Yee 9, Taha 8, Aguilar 4, Guinto 2, Digregorio 2, Agovida 2, Mandani 0, Webb 0, Galanza 0, Bagatsing 0, Ballesteros 0, De Vera 0.
Quarterscores: 25-22, 50-45, 71-62, 86-83