MERALCO regained its winning ways with a 91-80 verdict over Phoenix Super LPG in the nightcap of the PBA Philippine Cup's Wednesday triple-header at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Chris Newsome delivered an all-around performance of 23 points, seven assists and six steals to lead the Bolts to the bounce back victory to their 72-85 loss to Rain or Shine and a 3-1 win-loss record overall.
Allein Maliksi was on target for Meralco in the game that was momentarily halted due roof leakage caused by heavy rains, firing a team-high 24 spiked by four triples.
"Certainly, our mindset was defense. It's very important for us to keep our minds on the defensive end because we can't allow our offense to dictate how we play. I think that happened in our last game," said Newsome, whose team drew level with Rain or Shine and San Miguel at third spot.
"So, we came out and showed our defensive intensity and it got us through. We're able to get a lot of fastbreak points, turnover points because of our defense. That's the type of game we want," he added.
Meralco scored 28 off Phoenix's 21 turnovers and had six on transition.
Maliksi and Newsome spearheaded a 20-8 assault in the second period to seize a 43-26 upperhand.
They didn't let up from there and even enjoyed their biggest lead at 84-63.
Matthew Wright returned from ankle injury with guns blazing, knocking down six triples in a 29-point performance.
Vic Manuel and RJ Jazul added 13 and 12, respectively, as the Fuel Masters dropped to 1-3. (OL)
Meralco 91- Maliksi 24, Newsome 23, Pinto 11, Hugnatan 11, Belo 9, Almazan 3, Hodge 7, Black 3, Quinto 0, Jackson 0, Canete 0, Jamito 0.
Phoenix 80- Wright 29, Manuel 13, Jazul 12, Perkins 9, , Chua 4 , Pascual, 4, Demusis 3, Garcia 3, Faundo 2, Banchero 1, Muyang 0, Melecio 0, Rios 0.
Quarterscores: 21-16, 48-32, 73-57, 91-80.