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THE Meralco Bolts turned it on in the fourth period to rout Converge, 90-74, and grab a share of the lead in the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup on Thursday night at the Ynares Center.
The trio of Aaron Black, Allein Maliksi, and Chris Newsome flipped the switch in the final period, anchoring a massive 29-14 windup to help the Bolts nab their second win in a row and tie both San Miguel and Barangay Ginebra in the standings at 2-0.
The FiberXers dropped to 1-3.
Black matched his career-high with 25 points and five assists while Maliksi added 22 markers highlighted by five makes from beyond the arc. Newsome chipped in 19 points and five assists. The trio was responsible for 22 of Meralco’s 29 fourth-quarter points.
Meralco’s frontcourt also lorded over the glass as Raymond Almazan and Cliff Hodge hauled down 15 and 10 rebounds, respectively.
“The key to beating this team today was to do a good job in the rebounds. We went into this game understanding that they were averaging 57 rebounds a game. We don’t want to be in a situation where you play good defense but you can’t get the rebounds,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black after the game.
Converge hung around early in the fourth as they were down by just two, 62-64. However, Meralco found their second wind and unleashed a telling 23-5 run to erect a huge 20-point lead, 87-67.
Taylor Browne had 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting for Converge while big man Jeo Ambohot contributed 10 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks.