PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Beastly Braimoh carries Meralco anew in escape of Ortiz-led Blackwater

JR Isaga

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Beastly Braimoh carries Meralco anew in escape of Ortiz-led Blackwater

BEASTING. Meralco import Suleiman Braimoh attempts a layup past the Blackwater defense in the 2023 PBA Commissioner's Cup

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The Meralco Bolts find a gem of an import as Suleiman Braimoh detonates for a 40-point, 16-rebound double-double in the win over feisty Blackwater

MANILA, Philippines – Suleiman Braimoh was yet again a man on a mission as the Meralco Bolts sent the Blackwater Bossing crashing back to earth with a 91-84 win at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City on Saturday, November 11.

The Nigerian-American veteran followed up a 34-point, 14-rebound debut with an even bigger double-double of 40 points and 16 boards, as Meralco rose to a 2-0 record to start the conference. Blackwater, meanwhile, slipped to 1-1 after a stunning 103-84 rout of contending Converge.

Leading by just two, 43-41, in the final minute of the second quarter, the Bolts adjusted well entering the latter half, sparking up a 17-5 run capped by a Braimoh and-one conversion at the 8:16 mark for the 14-point lead, 60-46.

Although Blackwater got back within striking distance as near as 5, 80-85, with 3:54 left in regulation, Meralco tightened up its defense in the clutch, as Braimoh capped the lockdown stretch with a steal on fellow import Chris Ortiz and detonated with a dagger dunk on the other end, 87-80, at the 1:07 mark.

Cliff Hodge led the supporting cast in the win with 9 points and 12 rebounds, while Diego Dario added 8 points off the bench.

“First of all, Blackwater is playing very well. They may not be as big as other teams, but they play very well as a team,” said Meralco head coach Luigi Trillo.

“We knew we had our hands full with Ortiz because I thought in that first game, he played very well. We had to show him different types of defenses to try and slow him down.”

Ortiz paced the loss with 29 points, 6 boards, 4 steals, and 1 block as Rey Suerte added 10 points and 7 rebounds.

The Scores

Meralco 91 – Braimoh 40, Hodge 9, Dario 8, Black 7, Quinto 7, Newsome 5, Maliksi 4, Caram 3, Almazan 2, Rios 2, Bates 0.

Blackwater 84 – Ortiz 29, Suerte 10, Ayonayon 9, Hill 8, Banal 8, Rosario 6, David 5, Casio 3, Ilagan 2, Guinto 1, Digregorio 0, McCarthy 0, Escoto 0.

Quarters: 28-25, 47-42, 70-64, 91-84.

– Rappler.com

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