KJ McDaniels drained three clutch free throws while Paul Lee missed a potential game-winning triple as the Bolts snapped the 4-game winning streak of the Hotshots via 86-84 squeaker Sunday night in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The Chito Victolero-mentored squad fell to 4-4 while the MVP-owned franchise climbed to 5-3 with both teams having 4 games left in their schedule. The top 4 squads will enjoy a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals while the bottom 4 will be eliminated.
McDaniels finished with 19 points on 6-of-14 shooting in 44 minutes of action. The former NLEX and TNT reinforcement also contributed 15 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and a block.
“It turned out what we thought it would be,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black during the post-game press conference.
“It wasn’t very pretty because both teams really rely a little bit on defense than they do on offense. We made amazing stops at the end of the game,” he added.
Chris Newsome added 16 points while Aaron Black and Bong Quinto chipped in 13 and 12 markers, respectively.
Antonio Hester paced the Hotshots with a double-double output of 23 points and 15 boards while Lee scored 18. Jio Jalalon and Mark Barroca dropped 11 markers each while Calvin Abueva came through with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, a steal and a block.
Magnolia will try to get back on the winning track when they clash with the streaking NorhtPort Batang Pier on Thursday, March 2, 6:45pm at the same venue.
Meralco 86 – McDaniels 19, Newsome 16, Black 13, Quinto 12, Hodge 8, Maliksi 7, Caram 5, Banchero 4, Almazan 2, Jose 0.
Magnolia 84 – Hester 23, Lee 18, Jalalon 11, Barroca 11, Abueva 10, Dela Rosa 5, Escoto 4, Reavis 2, Corpuz 0, Ahanmisi 0, Dionisio 0.
Quarterscores: 20-18, 37-39, 63-71, 86-84.