Jared Dillinger led Meralco’s solid comeback in the fourth quarter to score a 92-87 come-from-behind win over Alaska in Game 2 of the best-of-five semifinals series of Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Dillinger racked up with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting in the field, while import Arinze Onuaku led the Bolts with 22 points and 14 rebounds plus six assists and Chris Newsome had 19 points to help Meralco equalize the series to 1-1.
Reynel Hugnatan contributed 15 points for Meralco.
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine goes for the kill against a struggling San Miguel Beer squad in Game 3 of their best-of-five semifinals series today at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Game time is at 7 p.m.
Two days after gaining a 2-0 advantage against the Beermen, coach Yeng Guiao of the Elasto Painters said that they have no other things in mind but to sweep the series because they cannot allow a team like San Miguel Beer to comeback.
“Of course any team in our position wants to do the same thing [sweep the series]. What happened last night (Tuesday) was a pleasant surprise,” Guiao told The Manila Times in a phone interview Wednesday. “I didn’t expect that we’re going to beat them and grab a 2-0 lead in this best-of-five series.”
Assistant coach Caloy Garcia followed Guiao’s instruction and steered Rain or Shine to a 98-86 victory in Game 2. Guard Jericho Cruz led the Elasto Painters in Game 2 scoring 18 points, but import Pierre Henderson-Niles provided stability to the team.
Henderson only scored 15 points along with 16 rebounds and three assists, but played impressively on defense and became the team’s silent operator in the last five games. In those five games since his debut last April 9 against Blackwater, Rain or Shine didn’t loss to successfully reach the semifinals.
Rain or Shine will also bank on Gabe Norwood, JR Quinahan, Beau Belga, Maverick Ahanmisi, Paul Lee, Jewel Ponferada, center Raymond Almazan and Jeff Chan.
San Miguel Beer, winner of back-to-back Philippine Cup titles, is expected to do whatever it takes to bounce back and narrow the gap preventing a Rain or Shine sweep in the best-of-five series.