Meralco gave KIA a reality check after handing out a 29-point sound beating, 105-76 to end a three-game losing slump of its own in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.
Haven’t taste a win for over a month, the Bolts finally zapped one to improve their slate at 2-3 heading into the crucial stretch of the All Filipino conference.
Meralco last won a game back on December 22, 2017 with a 103-98 triimph over Blackwater.
The Bolts now threw their hats to an already crowded five-way tie at the middle with Nlex, Blackwater, Rain or Shine and Phoenix all with an identical 2-3 records.
Newly-minted Bolt Niño “KG” Canaleta continued to repay Meralco’s trust with yet another game-high performance of 17 points on top of 6 rebounds.
Jared Dillinger and Anjo Carram chipped in 13 and 12 more markers, respectively for the Bolts who finally had Cliff Hodge back in their All Filipino cup campaigan.
And Hodge was solid on his comeback after a bone spur surgery on his ankles, putting up 8 points in perfect 4-of-4 shooting to go along 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal in limited time.
However, Meralco is still missing another vital cog in Ranidel De Ocampo who’s still nursing a calf injury, to get a full-forced roster just in time for a home stand midway through the season’s opening conference.
Meanwhile, Rashawn McCarthy’s double double of 17 points and 13 rebounds went for naught as KIA failed to get a run going after pulling an upset against Rain or Shine last Saturday.
Team captain Mark Yee added 14 points while rookie Jon Gabriel had a breakout game of 13 points and 6 rebounds in the loss.
Meralco takes on Globalport on January 29 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum while KIA collides with TNT on January 31 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Meralco 105 – Canaleta 17, Dillinger 13, Caram 12, Amer 10, Hodge 8, Faundo 8, Hugnatan 7, Tolomia 7, Ballesteros 6, Newsome 6, Baracael 5, Salva 5, Sedurifa 1, Lanete 0, Bono 0.
Kia 76 – McCarthy 17, Yee 14, Gabriel 13, Galanza 9, Tubid 8, Celda 8, Caperal 3, Jamon 2, Sara 2, Khobuntin 0, Cabrera 0, Ababou 0.
Quarterscores: 27-21, 60-41, 79-58, 105-76.