DO-IT-ALL GUARD. Chris Newsome delivers an all-around performance as Meralco opens its Philippine Cup campaign on a winning note.
Chris Newsome, Reynel Hugnatan, and Aaron Black shine in the fourth quarter as Meralco completes its comeback from a 16-point deficit
MANILA, Philippines – Meralco turned to Chris Newsome, Reynel Hugnatan, and Aaron Black to stun Phoenix, 109-98, for a triumphant PBA Philippine Cup debut at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Saturday, June 11.
Newsome finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, while Hugnatan turned back the hands of time as the Bolts completed a comeback from 16 points down to keep the Fuel Masters winless after two games.
Proving he has plenty of gas left in the tank, Hugnatan chalked up 17 points off the bench and hit timely buckets that helped Meralco climb out of a double-digit hole.
Hugnatan sank back-to-back triples in an 8-0 run that cut the Bolts’ deficit to 75-79 going into the final frame, and later drained another clutch trey that pushed their lead to 104-92 with three minutes remaining.
Black then put the finishing touches in the win, converting a layup and three-pointer in the final two minutes for a 109-95 advantage as he churned out 19 points and 3 rebounds.
Allein Maliksi also made his presence felt for Meralco with 15 points, while Raymond Almazan and Bong Quinto completed the list of six Bolts players in twin digits with 12 points apiece.
Jason Perkins carried the scoring cudgels for Phoenix with a game-high 28 points on top of 5 rebounds and 2 steals, but the Fuel Masters ran out of steam in the fourth quarter where they were outscored 34-19.
Meralco 109 – Newsome 21, Black 19, Hugnatan 17, Maliksi 15, Almazan 12, Quinto 12, Hodge 5, Banchero 4, Caram 0, Pasaol 0, Jose 0, Pascual 0, Baclao 0.
Phoenix 98 – Perkins 28, Wright 16, Jazul 13, Mocon 10, Tio 9, Serrano 7, Garcia 6, Lalata 4, Rios 3, Melecio 2, Porter 0.
Quarters: 23-23, 45-51, 75-79, 109-98.