Rookie Alvin Pasaol provided spark off the bench to energize Meralco to an 89-80 win over Alaska in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Saturday, July 31.
Pasaol dropped 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Bolts clinched their second straight win for a 4-1 record.
The Aces trailed by just 4 points early in the final salvo, 58-62, but saw Meralco stretch its lead to double figures, 70-60, behind an 8-2 run highlighted by two Pasaol three-pointers.
Although Alaska managed to narrow the gap to 75-81 with five minutes left, the Bolts unloaded a 6-0 blitz to push its lead back to twin digits.
John Pinto led Meralco with 16 points and 4 rebounds, Chris Newsome had an all-around game of 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Raymond Almazan added 12 points and 8 rebounds.
“It was great getting a lift from Alvin. Alvin is a pleasure to coach,” said Bolts coach Norman Black.
“He always has a smile on his face. He is a jolly type of guy. He would come to practice every day, like he really wants to be there and work.”
Meralco also got decent contribution from Aaron Black, who put up 8 points, and Mac Belo and Reynel Hugnatan, who combined for 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Gab Banal submitted the finest game since his PBA return with 20 points, but saw his effort go down the drain as the Aces dropped to 2-3.
Maverick Ahanmisi and Mike DiGregorio fired 16 and 10 points, respectively, in the loss.
Meralco 89 – Pinto 16, Newsome 14, Pasaol 13, Almazan 12, Black 8, Belo 7, Hugnatan 7, Quinto 4, Hodge 4, Jackson 2, Maliksi 2.
Alaska 80 – Banal 20, Ahanmisi 16, DiGregorio 10, Taha 8, Teng 7, Tratter 4, Brondial 4, Casio 4, Adamos 3, Herndon 2, Stockton 2.
Quarters: 17-14, 41-31, 62-56, 89-80.