Allen Durham was his old solid self and Chris Newsome was nearly as prolific as Meralco turned back titleholder Magnolia Pambansang Manok, 98-92, in Day Two of the 2019 PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Durham and Newsome churned out big numbers and themselves ignited the Bolts’ rally from nine points down at the half en route to a triumphant start in the season-ending tourney.
In the end, defense proved to be a big key as the Bolts held the Hotshots scoreless in the last 4:40 of play of this Petron Blaze Saturday Special.
“It’s a good start to the conference for us; a very, very satisfying win because we were up against the defending champions,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
“We knew they are a very good defensive team and we have to play good defense to beat them. Our defense clicked in the fourth quarter,” Black added.
A goldmine for Meralco in this tourney, Durham marked another PBA comeback with a near triple-double job with 21 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists that went with one steal and one block in 42 minutes of action.
Meralco 98 – Newsome 22, Durham 21, Almazan 19, Pinto 9, Faundo 8, Amer 7, Salva 4, Quinto 3, Hugnatan 3, Caram 2.
Magnolia 92 – Travis 22, Lee 20, Barroca 18, Simon 12, Sangalang 11, Pingris 4, Melton 3, Jalalon 2, Reavis 0, Dela Rosa 0.
Quarterscores: 27-30, 48-57, 73-75, 98-92.