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Meralco stops Magnolia winning run

Meralco engaged Magnolia in a tight, highly defensive battle before scoring a pulsating 86-84 win and snapping the Hotshots’ four-game winning run in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts stopped the Hotshots’ last four possession while import KJ McDaniels scored three of four shots from the charity stripes in the final stretch.

Meralco, however, had to dodge the bullet – a bungled three-point shot by Paul Lee — before securing their fifth win in the eight games. The Bolts moved up to solo sixth spot of the standings of this season-ending conference.

The Bolts won despite only shooting 37 percent from the field (29-of-78).

Meralco was paced by McDaniels, who was limited to just 19 points and 15 rebounds. He was held to only two points in the first period.

But the Bolts were able to get solid support from Chris Newsome and Bong Quinto, who had seven of his 12 markers in the fourth period.

“Just looking at the schedule, we have four games in eight days and this is our first step. We have Ginebra on Wednesday and then Converge on Friday and then Phoenix on Sunday,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.

“All three games are really tough for us. But we thought this game against Magnolia is really important for us. We struggled throughout, but we just grinded it out.”

The Scores:

MERALCO 86 – McDaniels 19, Newsome 16, Black 13, Quinto 12, Hodge 8, Maliksi 7, Caram 5, Banchero 4, Almazan 2, Jose 0

MAGNOLIA 84 – Hester 23, Lee 18, Jalalon 11, Barroca 11, Abueva 10, Dela Rosa 5, Escoto 4, Reavis 2, Corpuz 0, Ahanmisi 0, Dionisio 0

QUARTERS: 20-18, 37-39, 63-71, 86-84

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