Meralco comes back from 15-point deficit to escape Phoenix

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PBA Media Bureau

The Meralco Bolts survived the explosive debuts of Phoenix Fuel Masters import Brandon Brown and sniper Jeff Chan to hack out a 107-104 win in the Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Allen Durham tallied 33 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists while Garvo Lanete finished with 27 points spiked by six triples to offset the performances of Brown and Chan who both played their first games with the Fuel Masters.

Brown, who came in as a temporary import while Eugene Phelps is sidelined by a foot injury, made 38 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

Chan, who suited up for Phoenix for the first time after being traded by Rain or Shine, dropped 27 points, four boards and five dimes.

The Bolts, whose unbeaten run was ended by NLEX last outing, improved to 5-1 for a share of second place, while Phoenix fell to 2-4 for eighth place.

Meralco pulled off the win despite trailing by 15 points in the third quarter, 77-62. Durham carried Meralco in a blistering 21-3 run in the fourth frame to turn the tables on Phoenix and grab a 96-87 lead with 5:12 left.

But Brown and Chan made big plays to tie the game at 99-all. Meralco then regained a 105-101 lead with 16 ticks left after clutch shots by Durham, Reynel Hugnatan and Chris Newsome.

Brown however forced a foul from the three-point area. He made all three free throws to pull Phoenix within one, 105-104.

After Lanete hit two freebies, Phoenix went to Brown for the potential game-tying basket with seven seconds left. But his go-ahead triple went off the mark.

The scores:

MERALCO 107 – Durham 33, Lanete 27, Newsome 18, Hugnatan 15, Caram 7, Nabong 4, Dillinger 3, Faundo 0, Chua 0, Atkins 0, Sedurifa 0.

PHOENIX 104 – Brown 38, Chan 27, J. Wilson 12, Jazul 9, Eriobu 7, Alolino 4, Dehesa 3, Intal 2, Kramer 2, W. Wilson 0, Ababou 0.

Quarters: 26-19, 48-57, 75-84, 107-104.