MERALCO took advantage of a struggling Alaska squad to pull off a 101-75 victory on Friday in Season 44 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Baser Amer ran rings around Alaska’s defense all night, while two-time Most Valuable Player Allen Durham just missed a triple-double of 25 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists to deal the winless Aces their fourth straight loss.
“We consider this a good bounce back win coming off our loss to NLEX,” said Meralco coach Norman Black. “Our defense in the second half was very, very good particularly in the third period. You combine that with Baser getting really hot from the three-point line and that’s the reason why we were able to separate in the fourth quarter.”
The Bolts were able to sustain their strong start, doubling all efforts then in the second half behind Amer’s tremendous shooting in the third quarter.
Amer posted 14 of his game-high 27 points in the third period, when the Bolts’ 43-37 halftime lead ballooned to 72-61 at the start of the last period.
Meralco held on and even stretched their advantage to 101-71 late in the game.
Raymond Almazan finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, while Chris Newsome had nine points also for the Bolts, who improved to 2-1.
It was a terrible debut for Alaska’s Frank House who could only manage eight points, 11 rebounds, six assists and two blocks.
House replaced the injured Alaska import Justin Watts.
MERALCO 101 – Amer 27, Durham 25, Almazan 15, Newsome 9, Hugnatan 5, Quinto 4, Jamito 4, Salva 4, Quinto 4, Faundo 2, Pinto 2, Canaleta 0, Jackson 0, Tolomia 0.
ALASKA 75 – Banchero 12, Enciso 12, Tratter 9, Thoss 9, Casio 9, Ayaay 8, Manuel 8, House 8, Galliguez 0.
Quarters: 20-22, 43-37, 72-61, 101-75.
JOSEF T. RAMOS