MANILA, Philippines – Accepting all the enemies could offer a no-future conflict that could lead to a known enemy, Meralco lost to top-seeded Magnolia 94-81 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday night.
Allen Malksi and Raymond Almazan shot the ball with deadly accuracy to the Bolts in another PBA Governors Cup title fight with defending conference champions and former tormentor Barange Ginebra.
“We talked about it – if we can get to the final, we have to rely on our defense, and that’s what we did,” said head coach Norman Black.
Maliksi finished with 24 points while Almazan added 18 more points to a perfect shooting clip as Meralco imported a subper from Tony Bishop Jr. and the absence of Chris Banchero, who hit his torso before the game.
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Chris Newsome had 17 points when Aaron Black tossed 16 points in the final period pool-away where the Bolts pounded for Mike Harris’ untimely departure.
Calvin Abueva led the Hotshots with 21 points. Paul Lee and the rest of Magnolia finished with the mature core double figures of Mark Baroka, Ian Sangalang and Geo Jalal কিন্তুn but they dropped out when it was most important.
“Next to Geneva and it should be a competitive series,” said Black Crowd about the Darlings, whom his Bolts will play for the fourth time in the last five editions of the tournament.
“They have a few days off in front of us, but fortunately, we have enough time to prepare and rest.”
“(The re-match) should be interesting,” he continued. “I like my chances this time.”
Meralco 94 – Maliksi 24, Almazan 18, Newsome 17, Black 16, Bishop 8, Carrom 4, Quinto 4, Hodge 3, Belo 0, Kennett 0, Huganatan 0, Pasol 0, Baklao 0, Jamito 0.
Magnolia 81 – Abuva 21, Lee 13, Baroka 11, Jalalon 11, Sangalang 10, Della Rosa 6, Harris 5, Ong 2, Revis 1, Corpus 1, Brill 0, Ahanmisi 0, De Leon 0, Dionicio 0, Escoto 0.
Quarters: 23-29, 41-46, 62-65, 94-81.
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