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Bolts win but lose import

Photograph Courtesy of PBA

Meralco watched in horror when import Suleiman Braimoh fell and lost its import in the last 3:35 of the match with an Achilles tear.

Worse, the Bolts also saw their 29-point (77-48) lead wiped out by NLEX.

But Chris Banchero came to the Bolts’ rescue as he delivered a floater with 2.8 seconds left to lift his squad to a thrilling 97-94 win in the Philippine Basketball Association at the Philsports Arena.

It came on the heels of Don Trollano’s equalizing triple with 22 seconds left.

Meralco then mapped out a final play for Chris Newsome, but with its main man well-covered by his defender, Banchero decided to preside over the team’s final play.

“They were switching all ball screens and we were going to New (Newsome) most of the time,” Meralco coach Luigi Trillo said.

“But we have faith on C (Banchero) that he can make that. He had a big first half. That (shot) was a big bucket for us. A win is a win.”

Trillo was relieved as it survived a big fight back from NLEX, which became the latest team to complete a comeback from 29 points down.

But unlike San Miguel Beer, the last team to overhaul a 29-point deficit and win a game against Rain or Shine in Game 2 of their best-of-five semifinals in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup, NLEX couldn’t translate its late charge to victory with Banchero bailing Meralco out.

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