Meralco spoils Rain or Shine’s conference opener

The Meralco Bolts had some disappointment earlier in the day in losing their rights to forward Jared Dillinger. They washed away the disappointment quickly in winning their game against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

Shifting to high gear in the second half, the Bolts drubbed the E-Painters, 91-84, to hit the .500 mark again in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Friday night.

Gani Lawal struggled for only 19 points and 12 rebounds but the locals picked up the slack as they bounced back from a loss to the Barangay Ginebra Kings the last time out and dealt the E-Painters a loss in their conference debut.

“I’m happy to see the guys play good defense tonight. The locals did a great job,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.

“I still have to review the tape but I think Gani struggled tonight offensively and defensively. Hat’s off to our local players for stepping up,” Black added.

Anjo Caram, Chris Newsome and Ranidel de Ocampo plugged the holes in piling up 17, 16 and 12 points, respectively.

The scores:

Meralco 91 – Lawal 19, Caram 17, Newsome 16, De Ocampo 12, Salva 7, Hodge 6, Hugnatan 4, Canaleta 3, Amer 3, Jackson 2, Quinto 2.

Rain or Shine 84 – Bowles 31, Daquioag 13, Belga 12, Nambatac 8, Norwood 7, Mocon 4, Onwubere 3, Yap 3, Borboran 2, Torres 1, Ponferada 0, Alejandro 0, Rosales 0.

Quarterscores: 27-31, 46-52, 71-67, 91-84.

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