Meralco gets back at San Miguel to equalize semis series at 1-1

Meralco gave returning head coach Norman Black a warm welcome by getting back at San Miguel, 99-88, in the semifinal round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Black, who had a month-long furlough in the US due to the death of his mother, came back in time for Game 2 and the Bolts celebrated his presence on the bench by equalizing the series at 1-game apiece heading into Game 3 which is set on Sunday, August 7, 6:30pm at the same venue.

Raymar Jose came off the bench and provided the much-needed spark by delivering 13 points and 4 rebounds in 19 minutes of action.

“The team stuck together, the players played together, the coaches really worked together in trying to come up with game plans to put us in a situation where we still have a chance to move forward,” said Black during the post-game press conference with the winning coach and best player of the match.

“Our teamwork’s been pretty good this conference and today was a good example of that. We just have to continue to do that,” he added.

Cliff Hodge paced the Bolts with a double-double of 17 points and 14 boards while Allein Maliksi and Aaron Black dropped 15 markers each. Chris Newsome added 14 while Chris Banchero and Bong Quinto contributed 9 points apiece.

June Mar Fajardo led the charge for the 2019 All-Filipino Cup champs with 22 points on top of 17 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. Marcio Lassiter scored 16 while CJ Perez and Jericho Cruz added 14 and 11 points, respectively.

The scores:

Meralco 99 – Hodge 17, Black 15, Maliksi 15, Newsome 14, Jose 13, Banchero 9, Quinto 9, Almazan 7, Pasaol 0, Baclao 0, Pascual 0, Belo 0, Caram 0.

San Miguel 88 – Fajardo 22, Lassiter 16, Perez 14, Cruz 11, Manuel 7, Herndon 6, Tautuaa 5, Brondial 4, Ross 3, Enciso 0.

Quarterscores: 34-20, 51-48, 76-72, 99-88

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