MAC Belo had a sensational debut for Meralco as he tallied 27 points to lead the Bolts to a dominant 85-63 win over the NorthPort Batang Pier in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City on Friday night, July 16.
Acquired in the offseason in exchange for prolific point guard Baser Amer, Belo showed how comfortable he is in the head coach Norman Black’s system as he shot 11-of-18 from the field and added nine rebounds and three assists.
Apart from Belo’s offensive explosion, Meralco’s defense also stepped up as they held the Batang Pier to a franchise low in points that broke the previous record of 68 points, which they got in a loss to Rain or Shine last season. NorthPort also ended up making just 21 percent of their shots all game long.
Allein Maliksi came off the bench and scored 14 points, highlighted by four makes from beyond the arc.
Robert Bolick also played in his first game since tearing his ACL in October 2019. However, the hotshot from Ormoc was clearly rusty, making just four of his 19 attempts from the field including an 0-for-7 clip from the rainbow area. The team’s other ace, Sean Anthony, also shot miserably, going 1-of-10 from the field for six points. (JNP)