THE Meralco Bolts asserted their mastery over the powerhouse San Miguel Beermen, winning 93-87, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday, July 18, 2021, at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City.
Nard Pinto came up big in the third canto as he hit three three-pointers to help Meralco pull away and lead by 15, 74-59, heading to the fourth quarter. However, the battle-tested Beermen came roaring back and pulled to within two, 77-79, after a trifecta by Marcio Lassiter. However, Meralco’s sophomore guard Aaron Black retaliated with a couple of triples while Chris Newsome canned a deuce to raise the Bolts’ lead back to 10, 87-77, time down to 3:04.
The Beermen last threatened at 83-88 but Newsome shut that comeback down with a cold-blooded three-pointer with 40 seconds left in the match.
Newsome led Meralco with 17 points, four rebounds and six assists to help the team win its second game in a row and grab the early lead in the standings. Black helped out with 14 points while the ageless Reynel Hugnatan produced 13 markers. Pinto also reached double-figures with 11.
While San Miguel celebrated the return of the six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, they might be missing many-time All-Star Terrence Romeo for quite a while after the latter suffered a knee injury in the fourth canto. Fajardo played just 18 minutes and had five points and five rebounds.
Romeo led the team with 18 points while Mo Tautuaa and CJ Perez had 17 markers apiece. (JNP)