PBA Governors' Cup

Bishop, Meralco overpower Phoenix to clinch twice-to-beat edge

Martin Mendoza
Bishop, Meralco overpower Phoenix to clinch twice-to-beat edge

Tony Bishop of the Meralco Bolts. PBA Images

PBA Images

Meralco arrests its three-game skid and enters the PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals with a rousing 19-point win over Phoenix

MANILA, Philippines – The Meralco Bolts clinched a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals after crushing the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 109-90, in the final day of the elimination round of the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday, March 11, at the Araneta Coliseum. 

Import Tony Bishop torched the Fuel Masters with a game-high 35 points, together with 13 rebounds and 5 assists, while Allein Maliksi also added 27 markers for the Bolts.

With the win, the Bolts – who finally saw their three-game losing skid come to an end – tied the San Miguel Beermen at 7-4 and secured the No. 4 spot in the quarterfinals.

On the other hand, Phoenix, despite the painful loss, is not out of the woods yet as a win by TNT over NorthPort in the second game of the day would give the Fuel Masters a playoff match against the Batang Pier for the eighth and final quarterfinal slot. 

However, a victory by NorthPort against TNT would completely crush Phoenix’s hopes of entering the quarterfinals.

“The win is really important because we lost our last three games,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.

“And of course when you’re losing, your confidence takes a hit so we really had to try to rebuild our confidence going into this game today, knowing that we would have a twice-to-beat advantage if we won despite the fact we lost three straight,” he added. 

After leading by only a point, 56-55, at halftime, the Bolts turned on the jets in the third period and unleashed a massive 29-8 run to push their advantage to as many as 22 points, 85-63, off a triple by Bong Quinto with 2:26 to play in the quarter. 

Phoenix managed to slice the deficit back to 12, 76-88, early in the payoff period, but Bishop and Maliksi once again took over to extend the lead back to 21, 104-83, with just 1:49 remaining on the clock.

Du’Vaughn Maxwell led the Fuel Masters in scoring with 26 points, to go along with 12 rebounds, while RJ Jazul added 16 points.

Matthew Wright also tallied a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, but struggled mightily from the field, finishing with a 5-of-19 shooting clip for the Fuel Masters, who ended the elimination round with a 5-6 slate.

The Scores

Meralco 109 – Bishop 35, Maliksi 27, Hodge 14, Quinto 11, Banchero 8, Newsome 7, Black 3, Almazan 2, Pasaol 2, Belo 0, Canete 0, Caram 0.

Phoenix 90 – Maxwell 26, Jazul 16, Wright 13, Perkins 12, Rios 11, Manganti 5, Garcia 4, Demusis 3, Melecio 0, Salva 0, Porter 0.

Quarters: 37-28, 56-55, 88-68, 109-90.

– Rappler.com