Apr 03, 2024

Quinto takes charge, lifts Meralco past Terrafirma

MERALCO'S worst fears against Terrafirma almost came true. But Bong Quinto would have none of it.

Quinto took charge when winning time came, enabling the Bolts to carve out an 86-83 decision over the Dyip Wednesday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

All of Meralco's last seven points came from Quinto, enabling the team to overcome a 79-81 deficit and ultimately hurdle a Terrafirma side that played as scrappy as what coach Luigi Trillo had expected.

"Hats off to Terrafirma. They're playing really well and nahirapan talaga kami doon. So they're an up-and-coming team. We just had to gut it out," said Trillo after his Bolts realized a second straight win that moved them alongside their victims at 3-3.

"What we needed to do was to get these guys thinking... na we believe in these guys to make good decisions and not only Bong," added Trillo. "Heroes all around for us, I think, in this game."

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Also grabbing his fair share of the limelight in the endgame was Cliff Hodge, who grabbed a couple of offensive rebounds off Quinto's charity misses, with the last ensuring Meralco would keep its 86-83 lead inside the final 5.5 seconds.

In all, Quinto wound up with a team-high 18 points on top of seven rebounds and four assists with Norbert Torres adding 15 points, 10 coming in the final quarter.

Chris Newsome was limited to just seven points but did have eight boards and as many dimes while Allein Maliksi struggled offensively for the second time in three games to wind up with just six points.

Juami Tiongson and Stephen Holt each had 20 points with the former adding 10 rebounds and primarily responsible for Terrafirma taking control for majority of the game and leading by as much as a 54-43 lead early in the third period.

The Dyip even got to show their own resilience after the Bolts went on a 9-0 run to take a 76-71 lead with Holts and Tiongson willing them back on top at 81-79.

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Meralco's poise then came to the fore with Quinto typifying it with a triple to start the closing surge which the Dyip had little answer to. (NC)

The Scores:

MERALCO 86 - Quinto 18, Torres 15, Almazan 14, Black 7, Mendoza 7, Newsome 7, Banchero 6, Maliksi 6, Hodge 4, Pascual 2, Jose 0, Rios 0.

TERRAFIRMA 83 - Tiongson 20, Holt 20, Gomez de Liano 11, Ramos 11, Sangalang 6, Go 4, Camson 4, Carino 4, Cahilig 3, Mina 0, Calvo 0, Alolino 0.

QUARTERS: 19-25, 39-46, 63-65, 86-83.