Allein Maliksi scored the crucial go-ahead basket to lift Blackwater to a thrilling 92-91 victory over No. 1 seed Meralco on Tuesday and force a do-or-die game in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Governors Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Maliksi, who finished with 15 points, hit two crucial baskets in the closing minute including the go-ahead jumper with still 9.5 ticks for a 92-91 lead and Bolts rookie Mike Tolomia’s potential game-winner missed the target as time expired.
Import Henry Walker unloaded 19 of his 30 points in the final canto on top of 18 rebounds and six assists, while Mike Digregorio added 20 points for the Elite, who will aim for another win on Thursday to reach the franchise’s first semifinal appearance.
Chris Newsome led Meralco with 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while import Allen Durham had 18 points, 21 rebounds and seven assists but missed two crucial free throws in the end game.
BLACKWATER 92 – Walker 30, Digregorio 20, Maliksi 15, Sumang 9, Erram 7, Sena 4, Marcelo 4, Canaleta 3, Belo 0, Pinto 0, Cruz 0.
MERALCO 91 – Newsome 19, Durham 18, Hodge 18, Dillinger 12, Tolomia 11, Amer 8, Hugnatan 5, Lanete 0, Caram 0, De Ocampo 0.
Quarters: 24-17, 42-40, 63-62, 92-91.