THE Meralco Bolts snatched their first win of the season after beating the Alaska Aces, 93-81, in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night, October 14, 2020, at the AUF Sports Arena & Cultural Center in Pampanga.
The Bolts got the spark they needed from their second unit as veteran wingman Allein Maliksi and rookie Aaron Black scored baskets to stymie a comeback attempt by Alaska late in the third and eventually pull away in the fourth.
Meralco led, 49-35, at halftime before Alaska stormed back into the ballgame to tie the count at 54-all. However, the Bolts did not blink and responded with buckets from Nards Pinto, Black, Bryan Faundo and Maliksi to retake the lead, 65-58, heading to the fourth.
The Bolts then opened the fourth quarter with a huge 12-0 run anchored on the shotmaking of Maliksi and Black to raise their lead to 19, 77-58, and send Alaska reeling to its second loss in as many games.
Meralco on the other hand, improved to 1-1.
Maliksi led Meralco with 17 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals while lead guard Baser Amer added 15. Ageless forward Reynel Hugnatan fired in 13 points and eight boards while Cliff Hodge chipped in 11.
Jeron Teng scored 25 points for Alaska.
Meralco 93 – Amer 15 , Maliksi 17 , Hugnatan 13 , Hodge 11 , Black 8 , Faundo 2 , Jose 6 , Quinto 5 , Newsome 6 , Almazan 5 , Pinto 5
Alaska 81 – Teng 25 , Manuel 18 , Herndon 8 , Publico 8 , Tratter 6 , Brondial 5, DiGregorio 6 , Galliguez 3 , Ayaay 2 , Andrada 0 , Casio 0 , Ebona 0
Quarters : 29 – 23 , 49 – 35 , 65 – 58 , 93 – 81