PBA: Bong Quinto, Meralco scrape past Terrafirma

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Meralco Bolts’ Bong Quinto in the PBA Philippine Cup. -PBA IMAGES

Meralco shook off its first-half struggles and a double-digit deficit in the third quarter to rally past Terrafirma, 86-83, Wednesday in the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Bong Quinto knocked down a go-ahead three with two minutes left and the Bolts got a combination of crucial breaks in the end to hike their record to an even 3-3 slate.

Quinto finished with 18 points while Norbert Torres was among the key players in the fourth quarter for Meralco, which won back-to-back games after dropping three of four to open the tournament.

READ: PBA: Clutch Bong Quinto carries Meralco to OT win over Rain or Shine

The Bolts also tied the Dyip, who were denied at equaling their best win output in a conference under coach Johnedel Cardel.

“Terrafirma’s playing really well,” said Cardel. “They’re and up-and-coming team and we had a hard time against them, but we were able to gut it out.”

Juami Tiongson and rookie Stephen Holt scored 20 points each, but Terrafirma blew a chance to climb up in the standings going into a crucial pair of games against Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer on Sunday and next Wednesday, both at Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

READ: PBA: Bong Quinto shows leadership in Meralco’s OT win over Rain or Shine

Playing for the first time in 16 days seemed to have affected the way Meralco played in the first two quarters, which Terrafirma capitalized to take a 46-39 halftime lead and 54-43 early in the third.

But Meralco slowly inched its way back before going ahead in the fourth after two treys from Torres, who eventually finished with 15 points, made it 76-71.

Holt’s three-point play gave Terrafirma an 81-79 lead, but Quinto drained a corner triple to put Meralco ahead once more.

The scores:

MERALCO 86—Quinto 18, Torres 15, Almazan 14, Black 7, Mendoza 7, Newsome 7, Banchero 6, Maliksi 6, Hodge 4, Pascual 2, Jose 0, Rios 0.

TERRAFIRMA 83—Tiongson 20, Holt 20, Gomez de Liano 11, Ramos 11, Sangalang 6, Go 4, Camson 4, Carino 4, Cahilig 3, Mina 0, Calvo 0, Alolino 0.



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QUARTERS: 19-25, 39-46, 63-65, 86-83.





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