Meralco zaps Abueva-less Phoenix for back-to-back wins
MANILA, Philippines – Meralco finally got a win run going after hacking out a 101-95 victory over Phoenix in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, June 7.
Gani Lawal imposed himself inside, while Baser Amer had one of his best games of the conference as the Bolts improved to 3-2 and dealt the Fuel Masters their second straight loss.
Lawal finished with 28 points, 26 rebounds, and 3 blocks, while Amer chalked up 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in the win that saw Meralco hang tight following a comeback scare from Phoenix.
The Fuel Masters trailed 95-99 with less than 30 seconds left and had a chance to narrow the gap but Matthew Wright missed back-to-back three-pointers and had his two-pointer blocked by Cliff Hodge.
Chris Newsome, who chalked up 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, then secured the win for the Bolts with a pair of free throws with less than 10 ticks remaining.
Nico Salva chipped in 15 points and 7 rebounds, Bong Quinto added 8 points, while Ranidel de Ocampo had 6 points and 5 rebounds for Meralco.
Phoenix, meanwhile, seemed to have suffered from changes in its lineup as Calvin Abueva was suspended indefinitely by the PBA while import Rob Dozier was replaced by Richard Howell due to an foot injury.
Aside from Abueva, the Fuel Masters also missed the services of head coach Louie Alas, who was slapped a two-game suspension.
Wright paced Phoenix, which slipped to 1-2, with 20 points, Jason Perkins had 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Howell issued a subpar outing of 8 points and 9 rebounds after battling foul trouble throughout.
Meralco 101 - Lawal 28, Amer 20, Newsome 18, Salva 15, Quinto 8, De Ocampo 6, Almazan 3, Pinto 3, Hodge 0, Jackson 0, Caram 0, Hugnatan 0.
Phoenix 95 - Wright 20, Perkins 16, Jazul 12, Marcelo 10, Howell 8, Mallari 7, Chua 6, Dennison 5, Intal 5, Kramer 4, Revilla 2, Wilson 0.
Quarters: 21-19, 46-47, 80-72, 101-95.