Meralco Bolts prevailed over the Phoenix Fuel Masters down the stretch, hacking out a 101-95 decision in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Going up against the depleted Phoenix side missing suspended Calvin Abueva and coach Louie Alas, the Bolts found themselves in a close battle as the Fuel Masters managed to pull to within 93-94 under the final two minutes.
But Meralco clamped down on the defensive end in the final seconds, before Gani Lawal took charge, scoring nine of the team’s last 15 points to frustrate the Fuel Masters.
With the win, the Bolts improved to 3-2 after clinching their second consecutive win, while they dropped Phoenix to a 1-2 slate.
Lawal finished with 28 points and 26 rebounds in the victory, Baser Amer compiled 20 points, four rebounds, and four assists, Chris Newsome added 18 points, six boards, six assists, and a steal, while Nico Salva tallied 15 markers and seven caroms.
Matthew Wright had 20 points to lead Phoenix in a losing effort as replacement import Richard Howell had a lackadaisical showing, ending up with only eight points and nine boards.
MERALCO 101 – Lawal 28, Amer 20, Newsome 18, Salva 15, Quinto 8, De Ocampo 6, Almazan 3, Pinto 3, Hodge 0, Jackson 0, Caram 0, Hugnatan 0.
PHOENIX 95 – Wright 20, Perkins 16, Jazul 12, Marcelo 10, Howell 8, Mallari 7, Chua 6, Dennison 5, Intal 5, Kramer 4, Revilla 2, Wilson 0.
Quarter scores: 21-19, 46-47, 80-72, 101-95.