Bolts complete comeback, oust Fuel Masters in overtime

Bolts complete comeback, oust Fuel Masters in overtime

Durham, Meralco topple Phoenix, 108-103; Bolts claim last semi-final seat

Given up for lost after losing six straight games in the eliminations, the audacious Bolts outlasted Phoenix in an overtime thriller, 108-103, to punch an unlikely ticket to the 2018 PBA Governors Cup semifinals.

The Bolts overcame a 16-point deficit in regulation and immediately took the control in overtime with back-to-back treys by Baser Amer to overcome No. 2 seed Phoenix's twice-to-beat advantage and book a semifinal battle with Alaska.

Meralco upsets Phoenix, books last semis seat in OT thriller

In all, Meralco has now won six successive do-or-die games to move three wins away from a third straight trip to the Governors Cup Finals.

Allen Durham came an assist short of a triple-double with 32 points, 21 rebounds, and nine assists, while Amer had 26 points including five threes. The last two treys put the Bolts ahead, 102-94, to start overtime.

“What a hill we climbed to get into this point,” Meralco coach Norman Black. “It’s almost like every game for the last three weeks have been pressure-laden. There was really no room for error as far as our execution on offense and defense.

Meralco though will play in the semifinals on very short rest as the Bolts face the Aces in Game One on Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

It was a sorry end to the campaign of the Fuel Masters, who forced overtime on a triple by rookie Jason Perkins with 7.4 seconds left in regulation only to give up a bunch of points to begin the extra period.

The Fuel Masters used a 12-0 run to open a 46-30 gap in the second quarter, and was still up, 91-84, with three minutes left when Meralco went on a 10-0 run sparked by a triple by Amer to grab a 94-91 lead.

Perkins had 24 points in a game that staked his claim to the Rookie of the Year award while Matthew Wright had 20 points. Import Eugene Phelps added 18 points and 23 rebounds.

Meralco 108 – Durham 32, Amer 26, Newsome 19, Salva 8, Canaleta 7, Hugnatan 6, Faundo 4, Tolomia 2, Caram 2, Dillinger 2.

Phoenix 103 – Perkins 24, Wright 20, Phelps 18, Chua 13, Intal 10, Abueva 10, Wilson 5, Revilla 2, Jazul 1, Kramer 0.

This article originally appeared on Topgear.com. Minor edits have been made by the TopGear.com.ph editors. POLL

What a hill that we had to climb to get to this point, says coach Norman Black after the Bolts overcame the Fuel Masters twice-to-beat quarterfinal edge

DO-OR-DIE. Both the Phoenix Fuel Masters and the Meralco Bolts put it all out on the floor in the quarterfinal nailbiter. Photo from PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – Both teams clearly wanted it, but in the end, the Meralco Bolts had more firepower left in their tank.

Baser Amer fueled Meralcos strong surge in overtime as the Bolts completed an upset of the Phoenix Fuel Maters, 108-103, to catch the last train to the 2018 PBA Governors Cup semifinals at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, November 9.

Meralco kicked off the extra period with an 8-0 explosion off back-to-back Amer threes, 102-94, then held off the Fuel Masters late run behind Calvin Abueva and Matthew Wright.

Clutch baskets from league veteran Reynel Hugnatan and import Allen Durham kept the Bolts afloat in the last 75 seconds as the seventh-seeded Meralco overcame Phoenixs twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinal series.

The recharged Bolts will now face the third-seeded Alaska Aces in the best-of-five semifinals starting Sunday, November 11, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, Rizal.

“What a hill that we had to climb to get to this point,” said Meralco coach Norman Black. “Every game for the last 6 was pressure-laden. There was not much room for error both on offense and defense. Im really happy for the players.”

Durham proved why hes a two-time Best Import with a near-triple-double of 32 points, 21 rebounds and 9 assists. Amer came through big time with 26 points, 23 coming in the 2nd half and overtime.

Meralco – which trailed by as many as 16 points – looked headed for the win in regulation after Hugnatan calmly sank two penalty shots for a 94-91 lead.

But Phoenix rookie Jason Perkins negated that on the other end with a cold-blooded tying three in the last 7 seconds to force overtime, 94-94.

Amer led the Bolts third-quarter fightback, ending the frame with a go-ahead jumper, 70-68, after a Nino Canaleta corner three.

Phoenix then made the necessary stops and distanced themselves off a Perkins three, 85-79, with 6 minutes left in regulation.

Amer, however, led another comeback in the clutch, draining a pull-up trey followed by an and-one floater, 88-91 at the 2:17 mark.

Durham completed Meralcos energized rally with a go-ahead layup, 92-91, in the last 67 ticks, and Hugnatan also cushioned the lead before Perkins clutch triple forged extra time.

Perkins paced Phoenixs last gasp with 24 points and 6 boards. Wright had 20 points and Eugene Phelps also saw an 18-point, 23-board, 7-dime game go to waste.

Meralco 108 – Durham 32, Amer 26, Newsome 19, Salva 8, Canaleta 7, Hugnatan 6, Faundo 4, Tolomia 2, Caram 2, Dillinger 2.

Phoenix 103 – Perkins 24, Wright 20, Phelps 18, Chua 13, Intal 10, Abueva 10, Wilson 5, Revilla 2, Jazul 1, Kramer 0.

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