Engaged in a tight, see-sawing battle, Meralco was in dire need of somebody who could help Allen Durham out and give the team that much-needed power boost.
Good thing Mike Tolomia and Chris Newsome were there.
Tolomia came off the bench to scatter 12 of his 17 points in the second half and Newsome scored half of his 12 points in the fourth period to help the Bolts notch a 91-82 win over Rain or Shine Sunday in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Durham put in his usual workman-like, all-around effort with 19 points, 20 rebounds and six assists but the support provided by the locals during a decisive fourth quarter breakaway proved crucial in Meralco’s follow-up to its earlier victories over NLEX and Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok.
Now with a 4-6 slate, the Bolts could even force at least a tie for one of the eight quarterfinals slots should they win in their last elimination round assignment against San Miguel Beer on Nov. 3.
Meralco 91 – Durham 19, Tolomia 17, Hodge 14, Newsome 12, Caram 11, Hugnatan 10, Salva 4, Amer 2, Jamito 2, Ballesteros 0.
Rain or Shine 82 – Torres 16, Watson 14, Nambatac 13, Daquioag 10, Ponferada 7, Ahanmisi 7, Yap 7, Norwood 6, Borboran 2.
Quarterscores: 19-19, 44-43, 65-65, 91-82.