Garvo Lanete tallied a career-high 27 points to lead Meralco to a 107-104 victory over Phoenix and get back on the winning track in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 42 Governor’s Cup on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Bolts import Allen Durham was also huge with 33 points, 15 came in the final canto, and hauled down 16 rebounds and dished out seven assists as Meralco notched its fifth win in six outings.
“It is just an incredible effort from my guys. We had to deal with a lot of adversities in this game. Garvo (Lanete) hits incredible shots for us. Hats off to my players,” said Bolts head coach Norman Black, whose wards will take an 18-day break.
Chris Newsome delivered an all-around performance of 18 points, eight rebounds, six assists and seven steals, while veteran forward Reynel Hugnatan added 15 points also for the Bolts, who bounced back from a 94-100 loss to sister team NLEX last Sunday.
The win spoiled the debut of Jeff Chan and import Brandon Brown for the Fuel Masters, who absorbed their fourth straight loss after a promising 2-0 start in the conference.
Brown, who replaced injured import Eugene Phelps, debuted with 38 points and nine rebounds, while Chan chipped in 27 markers and five assists but their efforts were not enough to snap their losing streak.
Durham sparked the Bolts’ 9-0 run in the fourth quarter to turn an 87-all deadlock to a 96-87 lead with still 5:09 left in the game.
But the Fuel Masters tied the game to 95-all after Chan’s jumper with 2:46 remaining.
The Bolts grabbed the upper hand at 105-101 after Newsome’s two free throws in the last 16 seconds.
Brown’s three charities narrowed the gap to 104-105 with eight seconds left in the game.
Lanete made it 107-104 with two freebies and Brown had the chance to send the game in overtime but his three-point attempt missed the target as time expired.
MERALCO 107 – Durham 33, Lanete 27, Newsome 18, Hugnatan 15, Caram 7, Nabong 4, Dillinger 3, Faundo 0, Chua 0, Atkins 0, Sedurifa 0.
PHOENIX 104 – Brown 38, Chan 27, J. Wilson 12, Jazul 9, Eriobu 7, Alolino 4, Dehesa 3, Intal 2, Kramer 2, W. Wilson 0, Ababou 0.
Quarters: 26-19, 48-57, 75-84, 107-104.