Meralco rose through a tough adversity, beating out TNT KaTropa in an overtime grind, 103-100, to force a do-or-die face-off in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-three quarterfinals duel at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.
Baser Amer erupted for a career-high 32 points while Kelly Nabong came through with nine of his 15 in the extension play as the Bolts survived a long scoreless spell in the fourth quarter and the exit on fouls by import Alex Stepheson with 1:54 left in regulations.
After blowing away an 11-point lead in the last 5:46 of regulations, the Bolts stuck together and pulled off an escape act to foil the Texters’ sweep bid.
The two teams square off in a knockout setto at 7 p.m.Friday also at the Big Dome. The winner advances to the semis versus Barangay Ginebra.
“We played much, much better tonight than the last time. We played most of the way with our import in foul trouble and I have to give credit to our locals,” said Meralco coach Norman Black. – PBA
MERALCO 103 – Amer 32, Hodge 15, Nabong 15, Newsome 12, Dillinger 12, Stepheson 7, Hugnatan 7, Uyloan 3, Yeo 0.
TNT 100 – Smith 18, Williams 16, Garcia 14, Castro 12, Semerad 10, Pogoy 9, Rosario 7, Reyes 5, Rosales 5, Tautuaa 4.
Quarterscores: 32-13, 49-44, 79-73, 92-92, 103-100.