MANILA – Meralco won in Luigi Trillo’s first game as its official head coach with a 97-89 win against NorthPort in their PBA on Tour game on Wednesday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Bolts stormed back in the fourth quarter, dropping 33 points on the Batang Pier after they began the second half with a huge third quarter that actually put them ahead.
Allein Maliksi led Meralco with 21 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals, while Bong Quinto added 14 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
Cliff Hodge and Anjo Caram each chipped in 11 markers with Hodge also grabbing 10 rebounds for his double-double.
Jeff Chan had 20 points and two assists, while JM Calma added 15 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, and one block for NorthPort.
In his reunion game with former Letran coach Bonnie Tan, Fran Yu had a quiet five points and one rebound off the bench.
In the second game, Phoenix regained its dominant form just in time as they withstood San Miguel’s late challenge with a 106-101 win.
The Fuel Masters failed to sustain a hot start as the Beermen recovered after conceding 37 first-quarter points and even held a 101-98 lead with 2:20 left in the fourth.
However, a split from Chris Lalata sparked Phoenix’s game-deciding 8-0 run as Tyler Tio converted the go-ahead three with 47 seconds left and Raul Soyud hit a crucial layup 21 seconds later.
To put some more icing on the cake, Daniel Atienza, a recruit for the preseason, made two more free throws for the final tally.
Simon Camacho led the Fuel Masters’ balanced attack that saw eight players scoring in double-figures with 15 points, eight rebounds, and one block off the bench.
Tio added 14 points, five rebounds, three assists, and one steal, RR Garcia and Larry Muyang each chipped in 11 markers with Muyang also grabbing 12 rebounds, and Soyud, Sean Manganti, and Kurt Lojera each put up 10 points with Soyud adding 10 boards for his own double-double.
Terrence Romeo erupted for 27 points with five rebounds, and seven assists in his first full game in almost two years to lead SMB.
Robbie Herndon added 21 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, and two steals, while Jericho Cruz and Rodney Brondial each contributed 12 markers with Brondial also grabbing 10 caroms. (PNA)