Gani Lawal was more trusting and his local teammates were all too obliging, leading to Meralco’s 101-92 victory over Columbian Friday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Lawal scored 25 points on just 16 shots, 20 less than in his initial game, while fellow starters Baser Amer, Trevis Jackson, Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge all finished in double figures as the Bolts completed the wire-to-wire win.
Meralco coach Norman Black was obviously pleased with his team’s bounce-back performance from a sorry 91-94 overtime loss to Blackwater last Sunday, when only Mike Tolomia was the lone other double-digit scorer other than Lawal.
“Today we did a lot better, offensively and defensively,” said Black.
“I thought our teamwork on offense, particularly with Gani… He did not really dominate the offense so much this time, but with everybody sharing the basketball and everybody being part of the offense really helped us in this game.
The loss was Columbian’s second straight despite Kyle Barone notching 26 points and 16 rebounds and CJ Perez adding 22 markers.
Meralco 101 – Lawal 25, Amer 21, Jackson 17, Newsome 12, Hodge 10, Hugnatan 5, Tolomia 4, Pinto 3, De Ocampo 2, Salva 2, Faundo 0, Caram 0, Jamito 0, Quinto 0.
Columbian 92 – Barone 26, Perez 22, McCarthy 13, Cahilig 11, Corpuz 11, Khobuntin 3, Agovida 3, Reyes 2, Calvo 1, Faundo 0, Camson 0, Celda 0, Escoto 0, Tabi 0.
Quarterscores: 23-18, 50-35, 79-71, 101-92.