MERALCO held off Alaska Milk, 89-80, behind the heroics of rookie Alvin Pasaol in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Pasaol, the No. 9 overall pick in this year’s draft, scored 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Bolts staved off a determined rally by the Aces to secure their fourth win in five matches.
Pasaol went 4-of-8 from the field, including 3-of-3 from the rainbow territory in 13 minutes of action.
“I thought once again we played well defensively, we held the Alaska team down as far as offense is concerned. We got a big lift from a lot of players today,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
John Pinto finished with 16 points and Chris Newsome added a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds for Meralco, which led by as many as 16 points.
Raymond Almazan also stood tall.with 12 points and eight rebounds in a collective effort for the Bolts.
Gab Banal led Alaska with 20 points.
Earlier, the game between Blackwater Bossing and Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, will be rescheduled to a later date in accordance with the league’s health and safety protocols.
Meanwhile, Talk N Text guns for its third straight win when it takes on Phoenix inthe second of the two-game bill this Sunday.
Buoyed by their 79-69 win over Rain or Shine following a 13-day layoff also due to health and safety protocols, the Tropng Giga are favored over the Fuel Masters in the 4:15 p.m. encounter.
The victory over Rain or Shine was a test of the team’s character, according to TNT coach Chot Reyes.
“We’re playing in very difficult times. We’re in a very different situation. So, we said that this was going to be a testament to our agility, our versatility, and flexibility as a team,” said Reyes.
Phoenix, which reached the semifinals in the All-Filipino bubble in Clark,is still struggling in the coronavirus-disriptedtournament.
The Fuel Masters dropped their previous outing — 80-91 to Meralco last Wednesday.
Rain or Shine and Terrafirma square off in the 2 p.m. curtainraiser
Meralco (89)– Pinto 16, Newsome 14, Pasaol 13, Almazan 12, Black 8, Belo 7, Hugnatan 7, Hodge 4, Quinto 4, Jackson 2, Maliksi 2.
Alaska (80) – Banal 20, Ahanmisi 16, DiGregorio 10, Taha 8, Teng 7, Tratter 4, Casio 4, Brondial 4, Adamos 3, Herndon 2, Stockton 2.
Quarterscores: 17-14, 41-31, 62-56, 89-80.