Meralco rallied late in regulation before edging out Cavitex, 18-17, in overtime to rule the second leg of the PBA 3×3 third conference on Sunday, May 29, at Robinsons Place in Las Pinas City.
Dexter Maiquez’s two-pointer from the corner secured the improbable win by the Bolts and took home the top purse of P100,000 plus 100 tour points despite plenty of pitfalls encountered in the latest stage of the halfcourt competition.
The Bolts looked dead in the water with under a minute left with the Braves closing in on an improbable run with a 16-12 lead.
But Joseph Sedurifa knocked down a pair of two-point shots that enabled Meralco to send the championship match to an extension.
Bong Galanza scored a layup that put Cavitex on the hill but Maiquez came through with the winning two-point conversion.
It was a very rewarding triumph for Maiquez, Sedurifa, Alfred Batino and Maclean Sabelina, who came into the leg without Meralco’s injured star Tonino Gonzaga.
Meralco had to wait until earlier in the day to play its first game after several games during the first day of the leg were rescheduled due to flooring issues.
It then lost its opening assignment to Platinum Karaoke, 17-13, before bouncing back to beat Zamboanga Valientes, 21-13, to secure a quarters berth as Pool D runner-up.
The Bolts would then eliminate first leg champion TNT, 18-17, before defeating Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 19-15, in the semis.
Galanza, Prince Rivero, Dominic Fajardo and Tzaddy Rangel settled for P50,000 and a runner-up finish, the best performance of Cavitex since the start of the league.
Ginebra’s Martin Gozum, Denice Villamor, Leo de Vera and Mikey Cabahug defeated Terrafirma, 20-19, to get third place and P30,000.