Bolts hold Hotshots to lowest franchise score

Meralco showcased a dominant defensive performance against Magnolia, holding them to an all-time franchise low score and securing a decisive 74-51 victory in the PBA Philippine Cup at the PhilSports Arena on Sunday.

Raymond Almazan led the charge with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Chris Newsome contributed 12 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks for the Bolts, bouncing back from a previous lackluster performance.

The key to Meralco’s success was their stifling defense, which consistently shut down Magnolia’s offense throughout the game.

This victory marked Meralco’s second consecutive win, bringing their record to an even 5-5 and positioning them well for a top-six finish.

Magnolia, on the other hand, struggled to find their offensive rhythm, scoring a season-low 21 points at halftime and a franchise-low 34 points after three quarters.

The Hotshots’ inability to score was compounded by 18 turnovers, which Meralco capitalized on to extend their lead.

Despite efforts from Ian Sangalang and Mark Barroca to spark a comeback in the second half, their performances fell short of expectations. Sangalang finished with 8 points and 10 rebounds, while Barroca managed just 5 points on 1-of-12 shooting from the field.

Even a right knee injury to Aaron Black couldn’t derail Meralco’s momentum, as they cruised to a comfortable victory.

The Bolts’ outstanding defensive display limited Magnolia to their lowest points total in franchise history.

The scores:

Meralco 74 – Newsome 12, Almazan 12, Banchero 11, Bates 10, Caram 9, Quinto 6, Maliksi 4, Black 3, Dario 3, Hodge 2, Pascual 2, Torres 0, Pasaol 0.

Magnolia 51 – Sangalang 8, Laput 6, Dionisio 6, Lee 6, Dela Rosa 5, Barroca 5, Tratter 4, Balanza 4, Escoto 2, Corpuz 2, Eriobu 2, Mendoza 1, Reavis 0.

Quarterscores: 21-14, 35-21, 56-34, 74-51.

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