24 Sep

Meralco marches to finals for first time in PBA history

first_imgSCORESMERALCO 94 – Hodge 32, Durham 19, Hugnatan 16, Newsome 15, Nabong 4, Alapag 3, Faundo 2, Amer 2, Uyloan 1, Al-Hussaini 0, Guevarra 0TNT 88 – Castro 25, De Ocampo 15, Ammons 10, Rosario 10, Tautuaa 8, Williams 6, Fonacier 6, Madanly 5, R. Reyes 3, Rosales 0QUARTERS – 18-23, 40-44, 64-61, 94-88[/av_textblock][/av_one_full] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”][av_heading heading=’Meralco marches to finals for first time in PBA history ‘ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote modern-quote’ size=” subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”]By ADRIAN STEWART CO[/av_heading][av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]MANILA – The Meralco Bolts advanced to the finals of the 2016 Oppo PBA Governor’s Cup with a victory over the TNT Katropa in Game 4 of the best-of-five semifinals on Monday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.Clifford Hodge led the way with a career-best 32 points, including three 3-point baskets, for the Bolts, which reached the PBA Finals for the first time since entering the league in the 2010-2011 season.Reinforcement Allen Durham chipped in double-double 19 points and 16 rebounds, while ReynelHugnatan and rookie Christopher Newsome contributed 16 and 15 points, respectively, for the Bolts.“All credit goes to the team. They worked so hard to achieve this (PBA finals stint),” said Bolts head coach Norman Black. “It is very hard if others do not give you a chance. But if you do it as a unit, everything is possible.”After a 4-0 start for the Bolts, the Katropa turned thing around with baskets from Jayson Castro and Ranidelde Ocampo for a 16-10 lead. The Bolts cut to 16-15 but the Katropa pushed further to 23-18 on a basket by Michael Madanly.The Katropa lead increased even more early in the second frame at 29-20, but consecutive hits from Hugnatanand Durham allowed the Bolts to come to within 41-38. TNT, however, built a 44-40 halftime edge on a Castro triple.The Bolts continued its run early in the third frame to finally take the lead at 56-55 on baskets by Hugnatan and Newsome. The lead latergrew to 64-59 on free throws by Hugnatan and Hodge.TNT retaliated early in the fourth behind Castro to come to within 74-70, but the Bolts pulled away anew following a triple by Hodge and inside hits by Durham and Newsome to build an 86-76 edge.The Katropa made its last push on consecutive triples by De Ocampo to come to within 88-85, but the Bolts answered back with a corner triple from Hodge and free throws by Hugnatan and Jimmy Alapag to clinch the victory.Castro finished with 25 points before being ejected late in the game for two flagrant fouls, while De Ocampo chipped in 15 markers for the Katropa, which will clinch the third place ranking at the end of the conference./PNlast_img

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