Meralco couldn’t finish Phoenix Fuel off in regulations on missed charities and needed to gut it out in overtime to eke out a 103-100 win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday night.
Baser Amer scored on a crucial tear-drop shot entering the final minute and Cliff Hodge nailed two free throws in the last 2.2 seconds to preserve Arinze Onuaku’s triple-double game and KG Canaleta’s 30-point explosion.
The combination of Jared Dillinger, Chris Newsome, Onuaku, Amer and Canaleta outlasted the Matthew Wright-led Phoenix side in OT as the Bolts closed in on the frontrunners with five wins against two losses.
Wright sent the game into extra period with a three-pointer with 4.1 ticks left in regulations but missed a potential game-winning step-back jumper in the dying seconds in OT.
The Fuel Masters, thus, dropped to joint seventh place with the GlobalPort Batang Pier at 3-4.
Onuaku looked weary but still collected triple-double numbers with 20 rebounds, 12 points and 10 assists against six turnovers.
Meralco 103 – Canaleta 30, Amer 19, Onuaku 12, Newsome 11, Dillinger 8, Caram 7, Lanete 5, De Ocampo 5, Hugnatan 4, Hodge 2.
Phoenix 100 – Phelps 31, Wright 28, Perkins 23, Chan 9, Jazul 3, Revilla 3, Chua 2, Intal 1, Wilson 0.
Quarterscores: 20-18, 52-44, 68-72, 90-90, 103-100