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Meralco routs TNT, 109-95 despite  Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s explosive performance

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ROUSING WIN. The Meralco Bolts pulls off a 109-95 victory over TNT despite Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's stellar performance in the PBA Commissioner's Cup on Sunday, November 26, 2023.

Meralco showcased more balanced efforts to overcome Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s explosive 47-point performance, securing a 109-95 victory against TNT in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday, November 26, 2023.

Su Braimoh, with a remarkable display of skill, notched 37 points and 10 rebounds for Meralco, steering the Bolts to a significant rebound following their previous disappointing loss. 

Chris Banchero, making a triumphant return after sitting out the first three games due to a hamstring injury, played a pivotal role in the victory.

The game was tightly contested, with TNT holding a narrow 91-89 lead. However, Banchero orchestrated a game-changing 12-1 run, propelling the Bolts to a commanding 103-90 advantage. 

Despite Hollis-Jefferson’s efforts, including a three-pointer that cut the deficit to 95-103, Meralco’s collective efforts and the Tropang Giga’s struggles in the final 2:26 of play sealed the victory for the Bolts.

“I’m glad we got the win. That was a big win, that was a tough team,” expressed Banchero in the PBA report. He finished the game with 18 points, two rebounds, and four assists in 29 minutes. 

Meralco coach Luigi Trillo acknowledged the significance of having Banchero back, emphasizing his impact on the team’s performance.

Hollis-Jefferson, despite his tournament-high 47-point output, received limited support from his teammates. 

Jayson Castro was the only other TNT player to reach double figures, contributing 19 points. 

Calvin Oftana struggled with only four points on 2-of-11 shooting, while Glenn Khobuntin emerged as the third-highest scorer for TNT with eight points, resulting in a team total well below their league-leading 112-point average.

In a valiant effort to lead his team back, Hollis-Jefferson scored 10 points in the early minutes of the fourth quarter, receiving some support from Khobuntin, Kib Montalbo, and Ryan Reyes. 

However, Meralco’s resilience, highlighted by Banchero’s three-point play and triple, sparked a decisive run. Chris Newsome also contributed the last five of his 12 points during this crucial stretch.

Bong Quinto and Cliff Hodge added valuable contributions to Meralco’s cause, with Quinto scoring 13 points and Hodge contributing 12 points and nine rebounds. 

Raymond Almazan, despite scoring only six points, played a crucial role in anchoring the early defense against Hollis-Jefferson and securing a team-high 11 rebounds.

Meralco’s victory propelled them to a 3-1 record, joining Phoenix Super LPG in the second spot. On the other hand, TNT’s two-game winning streak was halted, and they now hold an even 2-2 slate.

The game showcased not only Hollis-Jefferson’s scoring prowess but also Meralco’s resilience and balanced team effort, solidifying their contention in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup.

The boxscores:

Meralco 109 – Braimoh 37, banchero 18, Quinto 13, Hodge 12, Newsome 12, Dario 6, Almazan 6, Bates 0Caram 5, Rios 0.

TNT 95 – Hollis-Jefferson 47, Castro 19, Khobuntin 8, K.Williams 5, Reyes 5, Oftana 4, Montalbo 3, Galinato 2, Heruela 2, Ponferrada 0, Tungcab 0, Tolomia 0.

Quarters: 29-21, 52-42, 80-70, 109-95

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