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Bolts survive Rondae 47-point explosion

Photograph courtesy of PBA

The Meralco Bolts spoiled Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s 47-point outburst with a 109-95 win over the TNT Tropang Giga in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday at the Philsports Arena.

The Bolts are now tied for the second spot with the Phoenix Fuel Masters with similar 3-1 win-loss records as import Suleiman Braimoh Jr. posted another double-double performance of 37 points and 10 rebounds.

Chris Newsome’s triple with three minutes and 50 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter capped a 14-4 run from Meralco for a 103-90 lead as the Bolts never looked back.

Meralco head coach Luigi Trillo said he is happy to have Chris Banchero after recovering from a hamstring injury.

“Talk N’ Text is a champion team and Jefferson changes everything for them. It’s nice to see CB (Banchero) back,” Trillo said.

“It’s nice to see guys start to come in. We know what we are capable of when they are there and when you have a deeper bench against stronger teams.”

For the Filipino-Italian guard, he is still feeling it out and trying his best to help while keeping himself in check.

“It felt good. Obviously, the first five minutes I had to get used to it but once I kinda settled down, I felt good. The hamstring was tricky so I’m glad I felt good the entire night,” said Banchero, who played for almost 30 minutes.

Banchero led the locals with 18 points, two rebounds and four assists in his return for Meralco while Bong Quinto added 13 points for the Bolts.

Jayson Castro was the only other Tropang Giga player to reach double digits as he scored 19 points behind Hollis-Jefferson, who also grabbed 13 rebounds for a double-double night, in a losing effort as they dropped to a 2-2 slate.

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