To defeat Phoenix, Meralco has managed to hold on

Despite having a bad shooting night, CHRIS Newsome still managed to contribute to Meralco’s immediate success on Sunday in other ways.

Chris Newsome’s Defense Saves Meralco in Pivotal PBA Governors’ Cup Game Against Phoenix

In a pivotal PBA Governors’ Cup game at the PhilSports Arena, Newsome made a key block and steal down the stretch that helped the Bolts beat the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 92-86, and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Meralco’s defensive tenacity was on full display in the final two minutes and eight seconds, when Phoenix rallied from a 15-point deficit to pose a serious threat.

When Aaron Black made a passing error to Javee Mocon, the Fuel Masters’ comeback attempt was aided by the fact that they were only down 84-90 thanks to Du’vaughn Maxwell’s charity.

With only 41 seconds remaining, the game was close until Newsome made a steal and a rifle pass to Raymond Almazan for an easy layup that put the game out of reach at 92-84.

After finishing the eliminations with a 7-4 record, Meralco is currently in fifth place and must wait to see if that is good enough to secure a spot in the top four and the twice-to-beat advantage that comes with that in the quarterfinals.

There is still a chance for a three-way tie between San Miguel Beer (7-2), Barangay Ginebra (6-2), and NLEX (7-3), all of whom are currently in the standings behind leader TNT, but Meralco has its sights set on the Road Warriors, whom the Bolts defeated convincingly on February 23 and will face SMB on March 15.

“We still have to wait and see what happens with NLEX,” Bolts coach Norman Black said. It’s still in NLEX’s hands to decide what happens next.

Black is content for the time being with how his team responded to Phoenix coach Jamike Jarin’s many defensive schemes.

“We struggled to understand what they were up to at first, but we’ve since settled on a strategy for dealing with everything they’ve thrown at us. Just keep running the same plays that helped us in the fourth quarter and overtime, no matter what he called “declared Black.

Although the game was not pretty from start to finish, the first half was especially ugly.

KJ McDaniels, Chris Banchero, Aaron Black, and Bong Quinto all contributed offensively to help Meralco build a 90-75 lead before Newsome rescued them with an eight-point performance on 3-of-13 shooting.

That means Phoenix finished its eliminations season with a 4-7 record and is now waiting to see if it will be tied for eighth with 3-7 NorthPort, which faces TNT on the same day. A playoff would be held to decide such a tie. (NC)

Final Thoughts

Meralco’s win against Phoenix in the PBA Governors’ Cup was a testament to their defensive tenacity and ability to hold on despite a bad shooting night. Chris Newsome may have struggled with his shooting, but his key block and steal in the final minutes helped secure the Bolts’ victory. 

With a 7-4 record, Meralco is still hoping to secure a spot in the top four and gain a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. Coach Norman Black is pleased with how his team responded to Phoenix’s defensive schemes and is focused on their upcoming games against NLEX and SMB. Although the game may not have been pretty, Meralco’s determination and grit were on full display. Place your bets now on Philippine Cup betting!

The Scores:

Meralco 92 – McDaniels 19, Black 18, Banchero 13, Hodge 12, Quinto 9, Newsome 8, Almazan 7, Caram 3, Pasaol 3, Jose 0.

Phoenix 86 – Maxwell 29, Serrano 20, Perkins 13, Tio 7, Jazul 6, Camacho 3, Muyang 2, Manganti 2, Mocon2, Garcia 2, Lalata 0, Alejandro 0.

Quarters: 23-22, 47-49, 73-68, 92-86.