Meralco def Magnolia, 86-84 [PBA S47 Govs’ Cup | Feb. 26, 2023]

Magnolia and Meralco slug it out in a deadlock-breaker Sunday, with each side determined to stay within striking distance of the leaders entering the homestretch of the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations.

Tied at sixth place at 4-3, the Hotshots and the Bolts break the logjam in their 6:45 p.m. tussle at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

One team does stay right behind the frontrunners while the other essentially bows out of the race for the Top 4 which will carry a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

The Hotshots have charged into the race on their amazing turnaround from a 0-3 tournament start, going 4-0 with import sub Antonio Hester.

The Bolts, meanwhile, have been on an up-and-down ride, catching up with the Hotshots with a 114-98 win over the Road Warriors in their last outing Thursday.

KJ McDaniels collected 31 points and 21 rebounds while Allein Maliksi fired away 19 to lead a concerted effort by the Bolts in snapping a two-game skid vs the Road Warriors.

“Those back-to-back (losses) were to San Miguel and TNT. We wanted to beat them but they’re the two best teams in the league right now,” Meralco coach Norman Black.

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