Meralco unleashed a killer fourth quarter to beat NLEX, 91-84, Sunday to nab its second victory in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts used a 19-4 tear to break the game open in the fourth, turning a slim 69-67 lead to a commanding 88-71 advantage with 5:25 left as the Road Warriors fired blanks late.
Jared Dillinger poured 20 points, four rebounds, and three assists, while reinforcement Alex Stepheson tallied 18 markers, 24 boards, and three blocks to keep Meralco’s record unblemished after two outings.
“Another good win for us tonight. Our defense really stepped up in the second half, we did a very good job defensively,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black, who also drew solid contributions from its other locals.
Chris Newsome added 15 points, four rebounds, and three assists, Reynel Hugnatan had 13 markers, four boards, and three dimes off the bench, and Baser Amer got 12 points, four assists, and two rebounds.
Black also commended the Bolts’ defense after keeping their opponents below 86 points for the second consecutive game and limiting the Road Warriors to just 38% shooting from the field.
“ I thought in the first half, we were a bit lax. We gave up a lot of points in the second quarter, but in the third and fourth, we did a lot better,” Black, whose team improved to 2-0, said. “We’ve been pretty solid, so we have to continue to do that.”
Wayne Chism paced the Road Warriors with 18 points and 17 rebounds, but shot 8-of-24 from the field.
Garvo Lanete also had 14 markers as NLEX remained winless after two games.
MERALCO 91 – Dillinger 20, Stepheson 18, Newsome 15, Hugnatan 13, Amer 12, Chua 6, Caram 3, Hodge 2, Uyloan 2, Daquioag 0, Faundo 0.
NLEX 84 – Chism 18, Lanete 14, Alas 8, Guinto 7, Lastimosa 6, Tiongson 6, Camson 5, Khobuntin 5, Monfort 5, Anthony 2, Baracael 2, Rios 2, Soyud 2, Taulava 2, J. Villanueva 0.
Quarters: 26-19, 40-45, 69-67, 91-84.