The Meralco Bolts moved within reach of clinching a finals berth after a dominant 98-74 win over the Star Hotshots in Game Two of the Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals on Tuesday at Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.
The victory handed the Bolts a 2-0 lead in the short best-of-five series, needing only another win in Game Three on Thursday to book a return trip to the Governors’ Cup finals.
Allen Durham pulled off another monster game, scoring 18 points, 25 boards and five assists. Jared Dillinger waxed hot from downtown, making six out of eight three-pointers to finish with 18 points.
Ranidel De Ocampo also tallied his conference-high of 18 points for his best game in a Meralco uniform. Baser Amer collected 16 points and eight assists as Chris Newsome made 10 points for the Bolts.
After needing a late rally to win Game One, the Bolts made sure that they wouldn’t need another difficult comeback this time around. Meralco got off to a 19-6 start as it simply handcuffed the Hotshots.
It also didn’t help that Star was forced to sit out Paul Lee after just over three minutes of action due to knee pain. He never returned to the game as the Hotshots missed his scoring.
The Bolts closed the first quarter with a commanding 30-11 lead and never looked back from there, ballooning its cushion to as big as 30 points, 78-48, entering the fourth period.
Mark Barroca led the Hotshots with 16 points, while reserve guard Mon Abundo scored 14 points. But the Hotshots once again didn’t get much scoring from import Kristofer Acox who had nine points and 12 rebounds.
Meralco 98 – Dillinger 18, De Ocampo 18, Durham 18, Amer 16, Newsome 10, Hodge 9, Tolomia 7, Faundo 2, Yeo 0, Lanete 0, Sedurifa 0, Caram 0, Hugnatan 0.
Star 74 – Barroca 16, Abundo 14, Acox 9, Ramos 8, Sangalang 6, Melton 5, Pingris 5, Reavis 4, Dela Rosa 4, Brondial 3, Lee 0, Jalalon 0, Simon 0, Gamalinda 0.
Quarters: 30-11, 53-32, 78-48, 98-74.