PBA Commissioner’s Cup

New import shines as Meralco holds off No. 1 Magnolia in Iloilo City

Delfin Dioquino

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New import shines as Meralco holds off No. 1 Magnolia in Iloilo City

DEBUT. Shonn Miller in action for the Meralco Bolts in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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Shonn Miller nets a 30-20 line in his PBA debut for Meralco, which takes down league-leading Magnolia to boost its bid for a playoff bonus

MANILA, Philippines – Shonn Miller did not disappoint in his PBA debut and powered Meralco to a gripping 85-80 win over league-leading Magnolia in the Commissioner’s Cup in Iloilo City on Saturday, January 6.

The Bolts’ third import this conference after Suleiman Braimoh and Zach Lofton, Miller churned out a 33-point, 22-rebound double-double as his side boosted its bid for a playoff bonus with a 7-2 record.

Miller, a 30-year-old forward who previously saw action for teams in Portugal, Mexico, Italy, Greece, and Germany, also came up clutch by scoring a crucial putback that ignited an 8-4 win-sealing run.

Fans inside the University of San Agustin Gym were on the edge of their seats when the Hotshots uncorked a 12-3 burst anchored by Tyler Bey to cut a 64-74 deficit to a whisker with 2:45 minutes remaining, 76-77.

Miller, though, steadied the ship for Meralco as he converted a putback off a miss by Cliff Hodge, who drained a rare jumper in the ensuing play for an 81-76 lead.

Bey and Mark Barroca pulled the Hotshots within a single point off back-to-back buckets, 80-81, but Chris Newsome drained four free throws inside the final 40 seconds to guide the Bolts back to the winning column.

Meralco tied Phoenix at second place and improved its chances of making the top 4, a feat that comes with a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.

Newsome backstopped Miller with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in the low-scoring affair that saw no other Bolts player breach double figures in scoring.

Iloilo City pride Anjo Caram rose to the occasion for Meralco as he poured all of his 6 points in the 4th quarter.

Bey tallied 23 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 steals for Magnolia, which ended the elimination round with a 9-2 slate.

Despite the loss, the No. 1 Hotshots are already guaranteed of a win-once bonus and will enjoy a near-two-week break before the quarterfinals unfolds.

Barroca and Calvin Abueva had 18 and 10 points, respectively, in the defeat.

The Scores

Meralco 85 – Miller 33, Newsome 17, Quinto 8, Caram 6, Maliksi 5, Banchero 3, Hodge 3, Rios 2, Bates 2, Black 2, Almazan 2.

Magnolia 80 – Bey 23, Barroca 18, Abueva 10, Jalalon 8, Eriobu 5, Lee 4, Sangalang 4, Dela Rosa 3, Mendoza 3, Laput 2, Tratter 0, Dionisio 0.

Quarters: 20-16, 35-37, 57-58, 85-80.


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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.