Meralco finds spark, ends 3-game losing streak
MANILA, Philippines – The Meralco Bolts ended a 3-game skid and notched their first win in a month following a 30-point romp of the Kia Picanto, 105-76 , in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum Wednesday, January 24.
Meralco, which had gone winless since its 103-98 win over the Blackwater Elite last December 22, banked on a balanced attack with 4 players reaching double figures and 4 finishing with at least 7 points to bring Kia, which recently ended a 16-game losing streak, back on the losing track.
KG Canaleta had a game-high 17 points and 6 rebounds for the Bolts, who pulled away for good from a 21-all deadlock with 15-0 run bridging the first and second quarters, 36-21.
It was all Meralco from there on as the Bolts' advantage grew to as large as 34 points, 104-70, thanks to back-to-back buckets by Anjo Caram and Mac Baracael.
Jared Dillinger chipped in with 13 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists for Meralco while Baser Amer made his presence felt with 10 markers, 9 assists and 5 boards. Caram had 12 points in the win.
"It's nice to see my players play with a lot of effort tonight and we played with a little bit of purpose on defense right from the very start and it carried over for the entire game," said Meralco head coach Norman Black.
Meralco had 18 more assists than Kia as the Picanto finished with more turnovers (16) than assists (10).
Rashawn McCarthy paced the Picanto with a double-double of 17 points and 12 assists but all that went down the drain in the loss. Mark Yee added 14 markers and 9 boards.
The Bolts now hold a 2-3 record, tying Rain or Shine, Blackwater, NLEX and Phoenix while Kia remained at the bottom with a 1-5 card.
Meralco 105: Canaleta 17, Dillinger 13, Caram 12, Amer 10, Hodge 9, Faundo 8, Hugnatan 7, Tolomia 7, Newsome 6, Ballesteros 6, Baracael 5, Salva 5, Sedurifa 1, Lanete 0, Bono 0.
Kia 76: McCarthy 17, Yee 14, Gabriel 13, Galanza 9, Tubid 8, Celda 8, Caperal 3, Jamon 2, Sara 2, Khobuntin 0, Cabrera 0, Ababou 0.
Quarter scores: 27-21, 60-41, 79-58, 105-76.