Meralco banked on its superior firepower to send Alaska crashing back to earth Friday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Led by the newly acquired Mike Tolomia, the Bolts dealt the Aces a crushing 106-78 blow to snap Alaska’s three-game win streak.
Tolomia, recently acquired by Meralco from Rain or Shine, fired 24 points on perfect 6-of-6 three-point shooting to give the Bolts a share of the lead with Barangay Ginebra with 7 wins and 2 defeats.
Import Durham added 26 points to go with his 18 rebounds while Baser Amer chipped in 17 markers. Chris Newsome and new addition Ranidel de Ocampo had 10 points each.
"The players came out and played really, really well... It was a good all-around effort for the entire team," said Meralco coach Norman Black.
"I thought Mike Tolomia was really great in the first half. AD (Allen Durham) was steady as ever throughout the game especially off the board, he grabbed a lot of rebounds tonight."
Leading by as much as 31 points, the Bolts proved to be too much for the Aces who fell to 3-6.
Alaska started strong with a 16-10 lead early in the first quarter, but Meralco found its bearings in the second canto where it held the Aces to just 13 points for a 58-35 half-time lead.
The Aces mounted a comeback in the third canto, where they fired 24 points against the Bolts' 20, but this proved useless as Meralco played relentless offense and broke away for good.
LaDontae Henton had 23 points for the Aces, while Jayvee Casio added 18.
Black said their victory only showed they have become more assertive in offense because of their recent additions.
"We've tried in the last two conferences to bring in floor spacers. We brought in Garvo Lanete, Mike Tolomia and now Ranidel de Ocampo because we feel we got a dominant import who gets double-teamed a lot," said the coach.
"We think the more we could space the floor and put good shooters around him, the easier for him to be inside the paint."
MERALCO 106 - Durham 26, Tolomia 24, Amer 17, Newsome 10, De Ocampo 10, Hodge 8, Lanete 5, Nabong 3, Caram 2, Atkins 0, Yeo 0, Sedurifa 0, Hugnatan 0, Faundo 0.
ALASKA 78 - Henton 23, Casio 18, Manuel 10, Abueva 8, Racal 8, Enciso 3, Banchero 3, Exciminiano 2, Pascual 2, Mendoza 1, Thoss 0, Baclao 0, Galliguez 0.
Quarters: 28-22, 58-35, 78-59, 106-78.
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