Meralco staves off elimination with hard-earned win over erstwhile solo leader Magnolia

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Meralco doggedly fought on with its back against the wall, making it two in a row with a 94-88 drubbing of frontrunner Magnolia in the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Sports Center here Friday night.

Allen Durham, Baser Amer, Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge all delivered double-digit outputs as starters while Reynel Hugnatan came through with a conference-high 15 points off the bench as the Bolts scored a follow-up on their stirring come-from-behind win over the NLEX Road Warriors Sunday.

“We’re not giving up. We’re still fighting but we still have a long road to go,” said Meralco coach Norman Black after the crucial back-to-back wins that improved their record to 3-6 at ninth place.

Entering the homestretch of the elims, the Bolts are within reach of the TNT KaTropa Texters (4-4), the Road Warriors (4-5) and the San Miguel Beermen (3-4).

Absorbing a first loss in six games, Magnolia, meanwhile, now shares the lead with Barangay Ginebra at 7-2.

The scores:

Meralco 94 – Newsome 20, Amer 16, Hugnatan 15, Newsome 13, Hodge 12, Salva 8, Jamito 5, Caram 3, Tolomia 2, Lanete 0, Faundo 0, Ballesteros 0.

Magnolia 88 – Travis 25, Lee 12, Sangalang 12, Jalalon 9, Barroca 8, Reavis 8, Brondial 7, Herndon 3, Simon 2, Dela Rosa 2, Pascual 0, Ramos 0.

Quarters: 24-19, 43-43, 70-66, 94-88.