PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Meralco spoils Hollis-Jefferson’s 47, ends TNT’s two-game win streak

Philip Matel

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Meralco spoils Hollis-Jefferson’s 47, ends TNT’s two-game win streak

TOUGH SHOT. Suleiman Braimoh in action for the Meralco Bolts in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

PBA Images

Suleiman Braimoh Jr. powers his way to 37 points as Meralco puts to waste a 47-point outing from TNT import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

MANILA, Philippines – The Meralco Bolts spoiled Rondae Hollis Jefferson’s 47-point, 12-rebound outing as the team fended off the TNT Tropang Giga in a wire-to-wire victory, 109-95, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena on Sunday, November 26.

Bolts import Suleiman Braimoh Jr. also had a double-double effort of 37 markers and 11 boards, including some big baskets to help Meralco maintain distance against its sister team.

Playing in his first game since recovering from a hamstring injury, Meralco’s Chris Banchero had 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting, among them some big shots down the stretch as the Bolts improved to a 3-1 record.

“[My hamstring] felt good, obviously, after the first five minutes, I had to get used to but settled down and it’s back to normal,” said Banchero after the game.

“The hamstring is tricky, but I’m glad it felt good the entire night and I’m glad that we got the win since [TNT] is a tough team,” he added.

Banchero put the team on his back as he spearheaded an 11-0 run that increased a mere 91-89 lead with 6:12 left into a 100-89 advantage at the 4:15 mark.

Braimoh then put the game out of reach with a driving layup that brought the Bolts’ advantage back to 14 for the final count.

Meralco created a double-digit cushion late in the opening chapter when Diego Dario connected on a triple with 1:10 left, 27-17.

The Tropang Giga got to within 3 points multiple times but Meralco doused the flames with some timely buckets by Braimoh.

Hollis-Jefferson briefly exited the game at the 3:36 mark of the third quarter when he hurt his calf, but returned in the payoff period after receiving a much-needed massage from TNT’s physical therapist.

Jayson Castro was the only other Tropang Giga player in double figures with 19 markers as the team ended its two-game winning streak and fell to an even 2-2 record.

“Talk ‘N Text, they’re a championship team, and Hollis-Jefferson changes everything for them,” said Meralco head coach Luigi Trillo.

“It’s just nice to see [Banchero] back, we know what he can do, and it’s been a while since he was able to get a feel.”

TNT’s offense was held to just 12 assists out of 31 field goals made, while Meralco dished out 21 out of its 38 made baskets.

The Scores

Meralco 109 – Braimoh Jr. 37, Banchero 18, Quinto 13, Hodge 12, Newsome 12, Dario 6, Almazan 6, Caram 5, Bates 0, Rios 0.

TNT 95 – Hollis-Jefferson 47, Castro 19, Khobuntin 8, Reyes 5, Williams 5, Oftana 4, Montalbo 3, Heruela 2, Galinato Jr. 2, Ponferada 0, Tolomia 0.

Quarters: 29-21, 52-42, 80-70, 109-95.

– Rappler.com

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