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HomeSportMeralco overcomes Robert Bolick, NLEX in Game 1

Meralco overcomes Robert Bolick, NLEX in Game 1

Meralco Bolts' Allein Maliksi during a PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal game against NLEX Road Warriors.

Meralco Bolts’ Allein Maliksi during a PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal game against NLEX Road Warriors. –PBA IMAGES

Meralco clawed back from a double-digit rut Friday night to pull the rug from under NLEX, 97-93, and land the first blow in their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal showdown.

The No. 3 seed Bolts drew a balanced effort from its old reliables, overhauling a 12-point deficit for a headstart in the sister team’s best-of-three series at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Allein Maliksi had 22 points, Raymond Almazan 15, Anjo Caram 14, while Chris Newsome and Chris Banchero chipped in 12 each.

READ: PBA: Robert Bolick knows NLEX in for tough battle vs Meralco

“We just had a little better intensity and attention to detail in the second half. We’re not pleased the way we played in our first. If we played like that again, we’re not gonna pass and enter the semifinals,” said coach Luigi Trillo, who also heaved a sigh of relief as his crew survived a career outing from sixth seed Road Warriors ace Robert Bolick.

Bolick put up 48 points, resetting his finest scoring performance that he also recorded in this conference against NorthPort. Mike Miranda added the only other double-digit performance for NLEX with 14 points.

Even with the comeback victory, Trillo stressed Friday night’s performance was something to be rectified.

“We still need to improve a lot. Obviously we needed to call people out in the dugout for that. But at this point and time, it’s the playoffs. There’ll be points of attack, it’s going to be harder,” he added.

Meralco will try to finish off NLEX in the second game of the doubleheader this Sunday night at Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Malate, Manila.

PBA Scores:

MERALCO 97 – Maliksi 22, Almazan 15, Caram 14, Newsome 12, Banchero 12, Quinto 11, Bates 4, Torres 3, Hodge 2, Pasaol 2, Dario 0.

NLEX 93 – Bolick 48, Miranda 14, Rodger 6, Herndon 6, Nieto 5, Semerad 5, Fajardo 4, Marcelo 2, Valdez 2, Amer 1, Anthony 0.

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Quarterscores: 23-28, 44-54, 73-75, 97-93

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