Chris Newsome scored 20 points to lead a balanced Meralco attack in an 88-77 victory over TNT in the PBA Philippine Cup at Cuneta Astrodome on Wednesday.
From 21 points down, the Bolts used multiple scoring runs spread throughout the game to close out TNT and snap the KaTropa's 2 game-winning streak.
Newsome shot 9 of 17 from the field, grabbed 9 rebounds and dished out 5 assists for the Bolts, who improved to 2-2.
Meralco coach Norman Black said he liked the way his team recovered.
"The only fortunate thing is it happened in the beginning of the game, so we had a lot of time to recover. And our defense wasn't as bad in the first half," Black said. "Had it been, we would have gotten blown out right in the first half."
TNT started hot, scoring 13 unanswered points and not allowing Meralco to get its first bucket until the 5:30 mark of the first quarter.
After going up 22-9 in the first, Jayson Castro's layup stretched TNT's advantage to 30-9, the biggest for the KaTropa.
But Meralco countered with a 19-3 run in a 6-minute stretch to draw much closer, 33-28, just before halftime.
The Bolts forced TNT to another scoring drought in the third quarter, denying the KaTropa a bucket for more than 6 minutes again and going on a 16-3 attack to take the driver's seat 54-50 late in the quarter.
TNT wrested the lead 57-55, before Meralco launched a 16-1 blitz to go up 71-58 and seize the lead for good.
Baser Amer added 17 points off the bench for Meralco, 10 of them in the third quarter, while Jared Dilinger contributed 16 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, including 3 3-pointers.
Castro finished with 20 points to lead TNT, which dropped to 2-3.
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