MANILA, Philippines – Aaron Black and Allein Maliksi turned it up in the final frame to power Meralco to a 90-74 rout of Converge in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Thursday, June 16.
Black and Maliksi hit a total of five three-pointers in a blistering fourth-quarter display and combined for 47 points as the Bolts shook off the pesky FiberXers to notch their second straight win in as many games.
Converge fought back from a 15-point deficit and trailed by just a whisker going into the last salvo, 60-61, before Black and Maliksi made it rain from deep.
Delivering 22 points on a 5-of-11 clip from long distance, Maliksi opened the fourth quarter with the first of his three triples in the period as Meralco rode on a 23-6 run to build an 84-66 cushion.
Black – who finished with a game-high 25 points on top of 5 assists – then capped his impressive game with the last of his four three-pointers to push the Bolts’ lead to its biggest at 87-67.
With only Taylor Browne and Jeo Ambohot breaching double figures in scoring, the FiberXers simply ran out of steam in the fourth quarter, where they were outscored 29-14.
Chris Newsome backstopped Black and Maliksi with 19 points and 5 assists, while Cliff Hodge tallied 6 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Reynel Hugnatan also made his presence felt for Meralco as he followed up his vintage performance against Phoenix with 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Browne saw his career game of 14 points off 4 treys go down the drain for Converge, which crashed to its second straight loss and third overall in four matches.
Meralco 90 – Black 25, Maliksi 22, Newsome 19, Hodge 6, Hugnatan 6, Almazan 5, Jose 4, Quinto 3, Banchero 0, Caram 0, Pasaol 0, Pascual 0, Baclao 0.
Converge 74 – Browne 14, Ambohot 10, Teng 8, Adamos 7, Digregorio 6, Racal 6, Ahanmisi 5, Arana 4, Lojera 4, Murrell 3, Tolomia 2, Hill 2, Stockton 2, Ilagan 1, Bulanadi 0.
Quarters: 20-23, 44-35, 61-60, 90-74.