Chris New some, Cliff Hodge and Jonathan Uyloan pulled off a stellar performance to power Meralco’s 92-82 win over Rain or Shine on Friday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Newsome led the Bolts with 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting in the field plus six assists and four rebounds, while Hodge tallied 17 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks for the Bolts.
Now with three wins and seven losses, Meralco’s playoff chances for a slot in the quarterfinals remain alive.
“We are keeping our hopes up but we still need to win,” said Meralco coach Norman Black during the postgame news conference. “We do not have control of our destiny at this point. More importantly, I’m happy that we won.”
Uyloan shone with 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals, while Justin Chua contributed nine points also for Meralco.
“Just nice to see the player put up a lot of effort. We’ve got a lot of deflection today defensively.”
Meralco tallied more rebounds (58-55), three-pointers (7-6) and blocks (9-1) than Rain or Shine. The Bolts also shot accurately than the Elasto Painters (36 percent-30 percent).
Meralco established a commanding 35-20 lead at the end of first period behind the combined 21 points of Uyloan and Hodge in the opening quarter.
The Bolts leaned on center Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Hugnatan and Hodge to stretch their advantage, 49-35, at the end of the first half.
Hodge notched 12 points, six rebounds and three blocks in the first half while Uyloan contributed 11 points.
Meralco’s defense limited Rain or Shine’s players to reach double figures at the halftime break. Veteran James Yap had only seven points in the first two quarters for the Elasto Painters.
Newsome stepped up for Meralco at the start of second half by posting 13 points including three free throws and a basket late in the third frame resulting in a 68-56 advantage at the start of the payoff canto.
The Elasto Painters reduced the gap, 69-77, after Yap’s three-pointer with only 3:35 left in the game. RoS got as near as eight points but the Bolts forced them to miss a lot of shots and commit errors in the dying seconds.
Uyloan hit a trey increasing the Bolts’ lead to 80-69 with only 47 seconds left in the game. Meralco was never threatened from thereon.
Yap led Rain or Shine with 17 points, four rebounds and three assists.
The Elasto Painters’ win-loss record dropped to 5-4 after absorbing their second straight defeat. RoS lost to the reigning back-to-back champions San Miguel Beermen, 101-107, last week.
MERALCO 82 – Newsome 19, Hodge 17, Uyloan 14, Al-Hussaini 10, Chua 9, Hugnatan 4, Dillinger 3, Daquioag 2, Grey 2, Amer 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 72 – Yap 17, Ponferada 11, Chan 9, Cruz 9, Belga 7, Trollano 7, Washington 6, Tiu 4, Norwood 2, Ahanmisi 0, Matias 0.
Quarter Scores: 35-20, 49-35, 68-56, 82-72.