Perez CJ Perez of San Miguel Beer dribbles out of trouble during their PBA game against Meralco. PBA photo

Meralco stuns San Miguel

July 18, 2022 Robert Andaya 476 views

VETERAN Allein Maliksi delivered back-to-back three-point shots in the final two minutes as Meralco brought down league-leader San Miguel Beer, 89-86, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Maliksi’s heroics came after San Miguel took an 82-79 lead on a three-point play by June Mar Fajjardo.

Maliksi hit a triple to tie the score at 82-all with 1:51 left,

And after Vic Manuel split his free throws to make it 83-82, Maliksi hit another dagger three to put the Bolts ahead for good, 85-83, with 1:21 remaining.

Aaron Black of Meralco and CJ Perez of San Miguel exchanged three-point shots of their own in the ensuing plays, before Maliksi added a free throw to finalize the score at 89-86 with nine seconds left.

San Miguel had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Simon Enciso’s desperation three-pointer missed its mark.

Maliksi finished with a team-high 18 points, followed by Chris Newsome with 16 and Black with 15.

Cliff Hodge had nine points and 11 rebounds.

Fajardo led San Miguel with game-highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Perez had a neaar triple-double of 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Beermen, who missed the services of head coach Leo Austria due to health and safety protocols.

With the win, Meralco improved its record to 6-4

San Miguel, which is already assured of the top spot and a twice-to-beat advantage against the No 8 team in the quarterfinals, dropped to 9-2.

Later, Barangay Ginebra celebrated the return of coach Tim Cone with a decisive 100-93 win over NorthPort for a 7-3 record.

Scottie Thompson fired 23 points and four other players also scored in double figures to power the Gin Kings to victory over the hard-fighting Batang Pier.

Thompson also had eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals and three blocks for Ginebra, which snapped a two-game losing skid to TNT and Meralco.

Robert Bolick exploded with 29 points for the Batang Pier’ which dropped to 3-7.

Jamie Malonzo added 19, Arwind Santos contributed 14 and Kevin Ferrer had 13 in a losing effort.

The scores:

First game

Meralco (89) – Maliksi 18, Newsome 16, Black 15, Hodge 9, Almazan 8, Banchero 7, Jose 6, Quinto 4, Hugnatan 4, Pascual 2, Baclao 0.
San Miguel (86)– Fajardo 21, Perez 14, Lassiter 12, Manuel 12, Enciso 11, Tautuaa 9, Pessumal 5, Zamar 2, Canete 0, Faundo 0.
Quarterscores: 19-26, 40-37, 70-67, 89-86.

Second game

Ginebra (100) — Thompson 23, Pinto 18, J.Aguilar 14, Tenorio 13, Chan 11, Standhardinger 9, Pringle 8, Mariano 4, Dillinger 0.
NorthPort (93) — Bolick 29, Malonzo 19, Santos 14, Ferrer 13, Balanza 6, Taha 6, Sumang 4, Calma 2, Dela Cruz 0, Ayaay 0.
Quarterscores: 20-26, 47-42, 80-60, 100-93.

Games Wednesday:

(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3 p.m. — Blackwater vs. Converge
6 p.m. — Magnolia vs. Rain or Shine