It was a tale of two halves between two sister teams in Wednesday’s 2019 PBA Philippine Cup curtain-raiser at Cuneta Astrodome.
Trailing by as many as 21 points in the first half, Meralco returned from the halftime intermission with guns blazing to put TNT in the back seat en route to an 88-77 victory.
“We’ve been getting off to bad starts this conference that’s why I tried to switch up my starting lineup today,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
Chris Newsome, Baser Amer and Nico Salva conspired in the Bolts’ second half turnaround highlighted by a 33-19 third quarter run to wrest the advantage from the KaTropa.FEATURED STORIES
Two boxers off the list
Would Thurman be ready for Sen. Pacquiao?
PBA: Rain or Shine bounces back, stuns San Miguel
A sustained effort by the same trio in the payoff period snuffed out any chance for TNT to mount a comeback.
“It was good that our defense wasn’t bad at the first half, because if it was we would’ve gotten blown out in that first half,” Black said. “We just tried to hang in there and we tried to get into the halftime break with just a manageable deficit.”
Meralco improved to 2-2 and joinsedColumbian and defending conference champion San Miguel Beer at No. 4.
TNT, on the other hand, slid to 2-3, good for seventh in the standings.
The Bolts face NLEX next, while the KaTropa go up Magnolia Hotshots.
Meralco 88 – Newsome 20, Amer 17, Dillinger 16, De Ocampo 11, Salva 11, Hodge 5, Canaleta 5, Caram 3, Pinto 0, Hugnatan 0, Tolomia 0, Jackson 0.
TNT 77 – Castro 20, Pogoy 15, Trollano 8, Taha 8, Reyes 7, Semerad 7, Heruela 6, Rosario 5, Williams 1, Carey 0, Miranda 0.
Quarters: 9-22, 30-39, 63-58, 88-77.