PBA Philippine Cup

Maliksi lends Newsome scoring hand as Meralco zeroes in on PBA crown

Martin Mendoza, Delfin Dioquino

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Maliksi lends Newsome scoring hand as Meralco zeroes in on PBA crown
Allein Maliksi rises to the occasion and Chris Newsome continues his stellar play as Meralco grabs a 3-2 lead against San Miguel in the PBA Philippine Cup finals

MANILA, Philippines – Allein Maliksi played his best game of the PBA Philippine Cup finals and powered Meralco to a 3-2 series lead following a 92-88 win over San Miguel on Friday, June 14, at the Araneta Coliseum.

Held to single-digit scoring in the last three games, Maliksi erupted for 22 points to go with 5 rebounds as the Bolts zeroed in on their first-ever league championship.

Coming off a 40-point explosion in their Game 4 loss, Chris Newsome also delivered 22 points in the win on top of 5 rebounds and 5 assists, including the free throws with 6.2 ticks remaining that kept the Beermen at bay. 

Raymond Almazan and Chris Banchero chipped in 14 and 12 points, respectively, as Meralco grabbed a 3-2 series lead in a best-of-seven series for the first time in franchise history.

Newly crowned Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo dominated for San Miguel with a season-high 38 points, 18 rebounds, and 2 blocks, but he lacked sufficient from the rest of the squad.

CJ Perez (17 points) ended up as the only other player in double-digit scoring for the defending champion Beermen. 

The game saw the Bolts improve to 3-0 when limiting San Miguel to under 90 points, just like they did in their Game 1 and Game 3 triumphs.

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‘My turn to step up’: Maliksi regains scoring touch as Meralco moves on cusp of first PBA title
Fourth quarter
  • FINAL: Meralco holds on to a 92-88 win as it grabs a 3-2 series lead
  • MERALCO 92-88: Chris Newsome makes both of his foul shots with 6.2 seconds remaining
  • MERALCO 90-88: CJ Perez with a split as he misses his first free throw of the game
  • MERALCO 90-87: CJ Perez from long range with 40 ticks left
  • MERALCO 90-84: June Mar Fajardo again
  • MERALCO 90-82: June Mar Fajardo inside with 2:25 minutes left
  • MERALCO 90-80: Allein Maliksi over two defenders
  • MERALCO 88-80: CJ Perez 2/2 at the line
  • MERALCO 88-78: Raymond Almazan finishes the break off a Chris Newsome dime
  • MERALCO 86-78: Chris Newsome taking over for the Bolts
  • MERALCO 84-78: June Mar Fajardo cleans up his own miss
  • MERALCO 84-76: Chris Newsome baseline jumper
  • MERALCO 82-76: Chris Newsome putback
  • MERALCO 80-76: Brandon Bates with the bang and the bucket
  • MERALCO 78-76: June Mar Fajardo forces his way inside
  • MERALCO 78-74: Jericho Cruz reverse layup
  • MERALCO 78-72: Chris Banchero floater off a Cliff Hodge pass
  • MERALCO 76-72: Chris Banchero and-one
  • MERALCO 73-72: Terrence Romeo scores
  • MERALCO 73-70: Anjo Caram banks it in
  • MERALCO 71-70: Allein Maliksi goes coast to coast
Third quarter
  • END OF 3Q: San Miguel enters the final frame up 70-69
  • SAN MIGUEL 70-69: June Mar Fajardo short stab
  • MERALCO 69-68: Don Trollano spins and scores
  • MERALCO 69-66: Chris Newsome 2/2 at the line
  • MERALCO 67-66: June Mar Fajardo completes the three-point play
  • MERALCO 67-63: Chris Newsome with his second triple of the quarter
  • MERALCO 64-63: Allein Maliksi dials from long distance
  • SAN MIGUEL 63-61: Allein Maliksi again
  • SAN MIGUEL 63-59: Mo Tautuaa free throws
  • SAN MIGUEL 61-59: Allein Maliksi ends the scoring drought for Meralco
  • SAN MIGUEL 61-57: June Mar Fajardo is unstoppable
  • SAN MIGUEL 59-57: June Mar Fajardo with another perfect free throw trip
  • 57-57: June Mar Fajardo ties it with a pair of charity shots
  • MERALCO 57-55: June Mar Fajardo and-one
  • MERALCO 57-52: CJ Perez corner three-pointer
  • MERALCO 57-49: Chris Newsome 2/2 at the stripe
  • MERALCO 55-49: Bong Quinto from downtown
  • MERALCO 52-49: Chris Newsome buries the trey for his first field goal of the game
  • 49-49: CJ Perez ties it with a triple
  • MERALCO 49-46: Raymond Almazan converts the alley-oop
Second quarter
  • HALFTIME: Allein Maliksi beats the first-half buzzer with a trey as Meralco takes a 47-46 lead
  • SAN MIGUEL 46-44: June Mar Fajardo three-point play
  • MERALCO 44-43: CJ Perez 2/2 at the line
  • MERALCO 44-41: Marcio Lassiter drive
  • MERALCO 44-39: Brandon Bates inside
  • MERALCO 42-39: June Mar Fajardo freebies
  • MERALCO 42-37: Bong Quinto for three after a Raymond Almazan block
  • MERALCO 39-37: Chris Banchero and-one
  • SAN MIGUEL 37-36: Personal 6-0 run by Cliff Hodge
  • SAN MIGUEL 37-34: Cliff Hodge hits his charity shots
  • SAN MIGUEL 37-32: Cliff Hodge kisses it off the glass
  • SAN MIGUEL 37-30: June Mar Fajardo again
  • SAN MIGUEL 35-30: June Mar Fajardo shakes off Brandon Bates and scores
  • SAN MIGUEL 33-30: CJ Perez converts the fast break layup and makes the bonus shot
  • 30-30: Don Trollano corner triple
  • MERALCO 30-27: Allein Maliksi sidestep move
  • MERALCO 28-27: Raymond Almazan 2/2 at the stripe
  • SAN MIGUEL 27-26: But Terrence Romeo regains the lead for the Beermen with his free throws
  • MERALCO 26-25: Raymond Almazan gives the Bolts the lead
First quarter
  • END OF 1Q: San Miguel with a slim 25-24 lead as June Mar Fajardo posts 7 points and 3 rebounds
  • SAN MIGUEL 25-24: Chris Banchero flips it in
  • SAN MIGUEL 25-22: Allein Maliksi posts up Terrence Romeo and scores
  • SAN MIGUEL 25-20: Terrence Romeo tough shot
  • SAN MIGUEL 23-20: Chris Newsome with another pair of freebies
  • SAN MIGUEL 23-18: Vic Manuel basket
  • SAN MIGUEL 21-18: Raymond Almazan again
  • SAN MIGUEL 21-16: Jericho Cruz off a nifty Mo Tautuaa pass
  • SAN MIGUEL 19-16: Raymond Almazan with the offensive rebound and putback
  • SAN MIGUEL 19-14: Raymond Almazan perfect at the stripe
  • SAN MIGUEL 19-12: Jericho Cruz 2/2 with his free throws
  • SAN MIGUEL 17-12: Marcio Lassiter from the other side
  • SAN MIGUEL 15-12: Marcio Lassiter from the baseline
  • SAN MIGUEL 13-12: Back-to-back Allein Maliksi buckets
  • SAN MIGUEL 13-10: Allein Maliksi two-pointer
  • SAN MIGUE 13-8: Mo Tautuaa 1/2 at the line
  • SAN MIGUEL 12-8: Mo Tautuaa easy deuce
  • SAN MIGUEL 10-8: Bong Quinto bucket plus the foul
  • SAN MIGUEL 10-8: June Mar Fajardo again
  • SAN MIGUEL 10-6: Chris Newsome free throws
  • SAN MIGUEL 8-4: June Mar Fajardo and-one
  • SAN MIGUEL 5-4: Brandon Bates scores
  • SAN MIGUEL 5-2: Chris Ross for three
  • 2-2: Chris Banchero answers
  • SAN MIGUEL 2-0: June Mar Fajardo opens the scoring with a short stab
  • SAN MIGUEL – Chris Ross, CJ Perez, June Mar Fajardo, Mo Tautuaa, Marcio Lassiter
  • MERALCO – Chris Banchero, Chris Newsome, Brandon Bates, Raymond Almazan, Bong Quinto

Back to square one. 

With the best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup finals tied at 2-2, the San Miguel Beermen and the Meralco Bolts duke it out in an all-important Game 5 showdown on Friday, June 14, at the Araneta Coliseum. 

Thanks to a monster double-double performance by newly minted Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo, the Beermen avoided falling into a dangerous 1-3 hole with a 111-101 Game 4 win.

Fajardo bounced back from his lackluster Game 3 showing and chalked up 28 points on a healthy 9-of-14 field goal clip and 13 rebounds for the Beermen. 

CJ Perez, who likewise struggled in the third game, helped Fajardo carry San Miguel’s scoring load with 22 points, to go with 8 rebounds and 6 assists.  

San Miguel also got surprise contributions from Terrence Romeo and Vic Manuel, who both suited up for the first time in the series. 

Returning from a calf injury he sustained in the semifinals, Romeo had 7 points for the Beermen, while Manuel tallied 8 markers on 3-of-4 shooting in just 7 minutes of play.  

With San Miguel back in full force, expect the team to go all-out in Game 5 as it tries to move on the cusp of its second straight All-Filipino crown and a sweep of the two Season 48 championships. 

Meanwhile, look for another high-scoring explosion by Meralco star Chris Newsome as the Bolts hope to regain the upper hand and inch closer to their first title in franchise history. 

After dropping a then season-high 26 points in Game 3, Newsome went off for a career-best 40 points on an efficient 12-of-18 shooting and a near-perfect 14-of-15 clip from the foul line in their Game 4 loss.

Game time is 7:30 pm. – Rappler.com 

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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.