Watch: Meralco vs Mahindra Game Highlights [March 17, 2017]

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The Meralco Bolts kicked off festivities with a strong showing against the Mahindra Floodbuster, 94-86, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup opener on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Baser Amer scored a team-high 19 points on 61-percent shooting from the field while Chris Newsome had 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead Meralco to the win.

Meralco import Alex Stepheson, who is expected to provide stability to the Bolts’ frontline, struggled for just 11 points on 38-percent shooting but grabbed 21 big rebounds and block three shots in his PBA debut.

They needed to weather a huge endgame explosion from Mahindra balik-import James White, who scored 14 of his 33 points in the last seven minutes of the game. White also grabbed 16 rebounds and had four blocks in an impressive performance.