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Bolts storm into Leg 5 quarters

JOSEPH Sedurifa of Meralco attacks the defense of Enrique Caunan of Pioneer during their PBA 3x3 First Conference Leg 5 duel on Monday. The Bolts prevailed, 19-14. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PBA

Meralco emerges as the first team to clinch a quarterfinals berth in Leg 5 of the Philippine Basketball Association 3×3 First Conference after the first day of pool play at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay.

The Bolts came out of the starting gate like a house on fire on a rainy Monday, and posted back-to-back wins over Barangay Ginebra, 18-13, and Pioneer Elastoseal, 19-14.

Their 2-0 record positioned the Bolts on top of Pool C and a place in the knockout stage to be held on Tuesday.

With big man Alfred Batino leading the charge, Meralco eyes to complete a three-game sweep of the pool play with a win over winless Wilcon Depot, which is being played as of press time.

TNT also joined Meralco in the next round after a similar 2-0 slate in Pool B.

Playing minus top gun Almond Vosotros, the Triple Giga remained in contention for the P100,000 champion purse by winning over Purefoods, 15-14, and Blackwater, 21-14.

Leg 4 champion Cavitex took the early lead in Pool A following a 21-12 rout of Terrafirma for a 1-0 record as Bong Galanza went 5-of-5 from the field to finish with eight points for the Braves, who also got seven from Jorey Napoles.

Still fighting for the remaining quarterfinal berths were Terrafirma (1-1) and Northport (0-1) in Pool A, Blackwater (1-1), Purefoods (1-1), and San Miguel (0-2) in Pool B, and Pioneer Elastoseal (1-1), Barangay Ginebra (1-1), and Wilcon Depot (0-2) in Pool C.

Only the top eight teams — two in Pool A and three in Pools B and C- will play in the quarterfinals.

Runner-up will receive P50,000 and third placer P30,000.

Previous winners this conference include Barangay Ginebra (Legs 1 and 2), TNT (Leg 3), and Cavitex.

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