Jared Dillinger (right) keeps the ball away from James Yap during San Mig Coffee's semifinals match with Meralco. the Bolts evened its series with the Mixers, 1-1, by taking a 73-69 win. -- Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNNews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Meralco drew level in its semifinal duel with San Mig Coffee with a 73-69 victory in Game 2 of their best-of-5 series at the Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday.
Mario West led Meralco with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Jared Dillinger added 10 points to help the Bolts bounce back from their 83-73 Game 1 loss to the Mixers last Sunday.
Three other locals each chipped in double figures for Meralco. Reynel Hugnatan had 15 points, while Cliff Hodge and Sunday Salvacion each scored 12.
Marqus Blakely had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Mixers, but failed miserably on the freethrow line. He made on 12 of his 26 shots from the stripe.
The Bolts also shackled Joe Devance and Marc Pingris, who played crucial roles in San Mig Coffee’s Game 1 win. Both players were held scoreless in the game.
Meralco pounced on San Mig Coffee’s slow start, taking a 19-8 advantage in the first 12 minutes.
The Mixers picked up their pace in the second half behind Blakely, but the Bolts repeatedly sent him to the freethrow line to San Mig Coffee’s dismay.
James Yap and Yancy de Ocampo were the only locals who delivered double digits for the Mixers.
The two-time MVP Yap finished with 13. De Ocampo had 10.
Meralco will meet San Mig again in Game 3 on Friday.
Meralco 73 – West 17, Hugnatan 15, Hodge 12, Salvacion 12, Dillinger 10, Wilson 5, Reyes 2, Ross 0, Cardona 0, Cortez 0.
San Mig 69 – Blakely 24, Yap 13, De Ocampo 10, Reavis 9, Mallari 4, Barroca 4, Simon 3, Najorda 2, Pinferrada 0, Gaco 0, Devance 0, Pingris 0.
Quarters: 19-8, 34-30, 56-50, 73-69