February 26, 2024

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Meralco Bolts overcome Terrafirma in PBA Commissioner’s Cup

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WAITING GAME. The Meralco Bolts pull off a 109-102 victory over Terrafirma on Friday, January 12, 2024, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, but its bid for a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals depends on the outcome of Barangay Ginebra’s game against the NLEX. PBA PHOTO

The Meralco Bolts seized control of their destiny by defeating Terrafirma, 109-102, in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday night, January 12, 2024.

However, despite securing an 8-3 record, their bid for a coveted twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals now hinges on Barangay Ginebra’s closing game result against NLEX.

The Bolts, led by coach Luigi Trillo, delivered a strong performance against the already-eliminated Terrafirma Dyip, with import Shonn Miller leading the charge. 

Miller’s outstanding contribution of 29 points, 21 rebounds, three assists, and three steals showcased his all-around excellence in this crucial encounter. 

The Meralco locals, including Bong Quinto (20), Allein Maliksi (15), Cliff Hodge (11), Chris Newsome (11), and Chris Banchero (10), provided significant offensive support, ensuring a well-rounded effort.

Despite the victory, the Bolts find themselves in a waiting game, relying on Ginebra’s performance to determine their final standing. 

With San Miguel Beer securing the third top-four seat after defeating Blackwater earlier in the day, the last spot now comes down to a showdown between Meralco and Ginebra.

For Meralco to claim the coveted incentive, Ginebra must lose to NLEX, settling for a 7-4 record. 

However, if Ginebra secures its eighth win and creates a triple tie at 8-3, the Bolts would be relegated to the fifth spot with a corresponding twice-to-win disadvantage due to their inferior quotient against both SMB and Ginebra.

Reflecting on the situation, Coach Trillo expressed a mix of frustration and optimism. 

The Bolts had an opportunity to control their destiny but fell short in a recent setback against Phoenix.

Despite the setback, Trillo sees a silver lining, stating that they just have to move forward.

In the event of a four-way logjam at 8-3, including Phoenix, the Bolts face additional complications due to losses against the Fuel Masters, the Beermen, and the Gin Kings. 

The waiting game intensifies as Meralco hopes for the right combination of results to secure their desired position and a crucial advantage in the upcoming quarterfinals. 

Shonn Miller’s stellar performance against Terrafirma served as a testament to the Bolts’ determination, emphasizing their readiness for the challenges ahead.

The boxscores:

Meralco 109 – Miller 29, Quinto 20, Maliksi 15, Newsome 11, Hodge 11, Banchero 10, Black 7, Almazan 4, Bates 2, Rios 0, Caram 0, Pascual 0.

Terrafirma 102 – Holt 26, Tiongson 21, Gomez de Liano 15, De Thaey 7, Alolino 7, Sangalang 5, Calvo 5, Ramos 5, Go 3, Olivario 2, Cahilig 2, Mina 2, Camson 2, Miller 0.

Quarterscores: 30-31, 59-54, 85-87, 109-102.

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