Led by a recent Southeast Asian Games hero Meralco was quick to dampen Alaska’s hopes of making the PBA Governors Cup quarterfinals.
Allen Durham notched 26 points 18 rebounds and six assists, but it was the timely explosion of Mike Tolomia which led the Bolts to a cruising 106-78 victory over the Aces Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The win, its seventh in nine games, installed Meralco alongside idle leader Barangay Ginebra and bolstered its chances of finishing among the top four, which get a win-once incentive in the next round.
“I think you need at least eight wins to get the twice-to-beat. There’re still a lot of teams fighting for the twice-to-beat so we’d try to get more wins,” said Bolts coach Norman Black.
After absorbing its seventh loss in 10 games Alaska is now in dire straits.
The Aces, who remained at 10th-running spot, must now prevail over Rain or Shine on Wednesday and hope their four wins would be enough for them to play off for the last spot in the eight-team quarters. – PBA
MERALCO 106 – Durham 26, Tolomia 24, Amer 17, Newsome 10, De Ocampo 10, Hodge 8, Lanete 5, Nabong 3, Caram 2, Atkins 0, Yeo 0, Sedurifa 0, Hugnatan 0, Faundo 0.
ALASKA 78 – Henton 23, Casio 18, Manuel 10, Abueva 8, Racal 8, Enciso 3, Banchero 3, Exciminiano 2, Pascual 2, Mendoza 1, Thoss 0, Baclao 0, Galliguez 0.
Quarters: 28-22, 58-35, 78-59, 106-78.