MANILA – Meralco boosted its bid to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals after edging Phoenix, 92-86, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig on Sunday night.
KJ McDaniels finished with 19 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, four steals, and five blocks to lead the Bolts, who survived despite the Fuel Masters’ last push.
Aaron Black added 18 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals for lead Meralco, which finished its elimination round stint at 7-4.
Meralco will now have to watch how Ginebra, Converge, NLEX, San Miguel, and Magnolia will fare in their own fight to the Top 4.
The Gin Kings and the FiberXers are playing as of posting.
Du’Vaughn Maxwell made 29 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals, and three blocks, while Encho Serrano added 20 points, nine rebounds, and one assist for Phoenix, which failed in its last chance to clinch the outright eighth seed.
Finishing its own campaign in the preliminaries at 4-7, Phoenix must now hope that NorthPort loses to TNT on March 15 to book a quarterfinal seat.
A TNT win would mean Phoenix and NorthPort will need to fight again on March 19 for the last Final 8 seat.
MERALCO 92 – McDaniels 19, Black 18, Banchero 13, Hodge 12, Quinto 9, Newsome 8, Almazan 7, Caram 3, Pasaol 3, Jose 0.
PHOENIX 86 – Maxwell 29, Serrano 20, Perkins 13, Tio 7, Jazul 6, Camacho 3, Muyang 2, Manganti 2, Mocon2, Garcia 2, Lalata 0, Alejandro 0
Quarters: 23-22, 47-49, 73-68, 92-86 (PNA)