Meralco kept its hold on the top four after turning an expected dogfight with Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel into a blowout 125-99 Sunday in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Import Allen Durham posted 29 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists while Baser Amer added 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the Bolts handed the Beermen their second straight loss to move in solo third with a 5-2 record.
The win came after the Bolts acquired the services of Allein Maliksi and Raymar Jose from the Blackwater Elite in a trade which was approved last Friday by the PBA Commissioner’s Office.
Maliksi put up 10 of his 12 points in the first half to play a key role in his first game in a Bolts jersey.
Coach Norman Black and the Bolts virtually assured themselves a place in the quarterfinals with four games left in the eliminations.
Meralco next face Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday at the Big Dome.
June Mar Fajardo posted 31 points and 14 rebounds but the Beermen dropped to fifth place with a 5-3 record, allowing Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to jump in fourth spot.
San Miguel was coming off a 127-119 loss to former player Christian Standhardinger and NorthPort last Wednesday.
The Beermen play 2-6 teams Blackwater Elite and Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in their next two games, needing to win both meetings to boost their twice-to-beat bid.
SMB wraps up the elims against leader TNT KaTropa.
Import Dez Wells was limited to 18 points, a far cry from his average of 39 points going into the match.
Wells sat out the second half after hurting his ankle during the second quarter.
MERALCO 125 — Durham 29, Amer 26, Newsome 14, Maliksi 12, Almazan 12, Faundo 10, Quinto 7, Jamito 6, Caram 6, Hugnatan 3, Hodge 0, Pinto 0, Jose 0, Jackson 0.
SAN MIGUEL 99 — Fajardo 31, Wells 18, Cabagnot 12, Pessumal 9, Romeo 8, Ross 5, Nabong 3, Santos 2, Tautuaa 0, Rosser 0, Zamar 0.
Quarters: 30-21; 64-49; 92-70; 125-99.