Coach Norman Black and the rest of the Meralco Bolts were fully aware that the Phoenix Fuel Masters are tough to beat in a high-scoring ball game. In their first three wins of the 2017 OPPO PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Phoenix averaged 102 points per game.
The Bolts knew that the best way to defeat the Fuel Masters is to throttle them on defense and that was exactly what they did in forcing Phoenix to their lowest output this conference, 81-66, Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The 17-day break for Meralco turned out to be a positive for them as even though they looked rusty on offense, their legs were fresh to make sure Phoenix would not get their offense flowing at any point.
Meralco turned the first quarter into a defensive struggle. They only scored 34 points after the first 24 minutes of action but they went into the halftime break feeling good about themselves as they held Phoenix down to only 29 points. – Sports5
MERALCO 81 – Amer 20, Newsome 19, Stepheson 15, Grey 8, Hodge 7, Caram 4, Hugnatan 3, NAbong 2, Chua 2, Daquioag 1, Dillinger 0, Faundo 0.
PHOENIX 66 – McKay 16, Baguio 10, Jazul 7, Borboran 6, Torres 6, Dehesa 5, W. Wilson 5, Alolino 4, Kramer 3, Intal 2, J. Wilson 2, Miranda 0, Lanete 0.
Quarterscores: 13-16, 34-29, 53-46, 81-66