PBA Philippine Cup

Meralco boots Terrafirma to first winless conference in 5 years

JR Isaga
Meralco boots Terrafirma to first winless conference in 5 years

ALL-AROUND. Aaron Black stuffs the stat sheet as Meralco ends the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup elimination round on a winning note.

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The Meralco Bolts enter the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup playoffs no lower than a fifth seed as they send the severely undermanned Terrafirma Dyip to their first winless conference since 2017

MANILA, Philippines – The Meralco Bolts ended their 2022 PBA Philippine Cup elimination round with a 105-89 rout over the winless Terrafirma Dyip at the Araneta Coliseum on Thursday, July 21.

With their second straight win, the Bolts finished the elims with a 7-4 record, and can no longer go lower than a fifth seed as Magnolia and Ginebra stay ahead with identical 7-3 slates.

Meanwhile, the undermanned Dyip crashed to a 0-11 conference finish, their first winless run since the 2017 Governors’ Cup, where they were still called the Kia Picanto.

Chris Newsome led five Meralco players in double-digit scoring with 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Aaron Black also stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, 5 boards, and 5 dimes, while Raymond Almazan churned out 14 points and 9 boards in just 20 minutes of action.

Coming off a strong third-quarter run where they got as near as 65-71 thanks to an Aldrech Ramos scoring spurt, the Dyip kept rolling in the fourth, and maintained a single-digit deficit, 71-80, early in the period.

However, the Bolts kept their foot on the gas, and pulled away with a pivotal 16-7 surge, ending with a Black layup for an 18-point separation, 96-78, with just 3:35 remaining.

“It was a tough game. We had to earn it. I had to bring back some starters to play [late]. The important thing is we got the job done,” said Meralco assistant coach Luigi Trillo as he continues to stand in for head coach Norman Black, who’s still in the United States to attend to his ailing mother.

Ramos led all scorers in the sorry loss with 24 points off the bench on 9-of-12 shooting plus 6 rebounds in 31 minutes. Eric Camson scored 14, while Andreas Cahilig and Joshua Munzon tallied 13 points apiece.

Now headed back to the playoffs, the Bolts will face either Magnolia or Ginebra – both tough, championship-caliber teams – in the best-of-three quarterfinals.

The Scores

Meralco 105 – Newsome 19, Black 16, Almazan 14, Maliksi 14, Quinto 13, Caram 7, Pascual 6, Hodge 4, Banchero 4, Jose 4, Hugnatan 2, Pasaol 2, Belo 0, Johnson 0, Baclao 0.

Terrafirma 89 – Ramos 24, Camson 14, Cahilig 13, Munzon 13, Gabayni 9, Calvo 5, Gomez de Liano 5, Tumalip 2, Javelona 2, Mina 2, Balagasay 0.

Quarters: 27-16, 52-41, 73-65, 105-89.

– Rappler.com

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