Meralco routed Kia, 105-76, and snapped a three-game losing streak in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 43 Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts relied on Baser Amer, Nino Canaleta and Jarred Dillinger in the first half to erect a 60-41 halftime lead, and the Picanto never threatened them since then.
“It is nice to see my players play with a lot of effort tonight and play with a little bit of purpose on defense right from the very start and carried it the entire game,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
“Offensively, we’re a lot smoother and we were able to move the basketball around and get everybody involved,” he added. “We are pretty balance as far as scoring is concerned. It is a good team effort for us.”
Meralco sustained its hot start and stretched its lead to 97-65 on Dillinger’s triple with 3:29 left in the game.
Kia never got close and failed to follow up its 98-94 upset win over Rain or Shine that snapped the franchise’s 16-game losing streak. The Picanto dropped to 1-5.
Canaleta had 17 points and six rebounds, Dillinger added 13 points and Anjo Caram had 12 points for the Bolts. Amer contributed 10 points while Bryan Faundo had eight points and Cliff Hodge, who just returned from a bone spurs surgery, contributed eight points also for Meralco.
Rashawn McCarthy scored 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead Kia, which played without suspended Eric Camson.
MERALCO 105 – Canaleta 17, Dillinger 13, Caram 12, Amer 10, Hodge 8, Faundo 8, Hugnatan 7, Tolomia 7, Newsome 6, Ballesteros 6, Baracael 5, Salva 5, Sedurifa 1, Lanete 0, Bono 0.
KIA 76 – McCarthy 17, Yee 14, Gabriel 13, Galanza 9, Celda 8, Tubid 8, Caperal 3, Jamon 2, Sara 2, Ababou 0, Cabrera 0, Khobuntin 0.
Quarters: 27-21, 60-41, 79-58, 105-76.