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PBA: Meralco pulls away late to snap TNT streak

Suleiman Braimoh Meralco Bolts PBA

The Meralco Bolts pulled away late in the payoff period to take down surging TNT, 109-95, and regain its winning ways in the 2023 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Sunday at the Philsports Arena.

The Tropang Giga kept it close the whole game but an 18-7 run to close the game saw the Bolts cruising to their third win in four games while TNT absorbed its second loss for an even 2-2 card.

TNT import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson completed a three-point play chance to pull his side to within two points halfway through the fourth period, 89-91, but the backcourt duo of Chris Banchero and Chris Newsome proved to be the difference. 

The veteran guards unleashed a triple each to send Merlaco back up by nine with 4:21 left, 100-89, before Meralco reinforcement Suleiman Braimoh Jr. put the finishing touches by burying three straight baskets to finish the game. 

Braimoh tallied a double-double of 37 points and 10 rebounds on top of three steals, two assists, and two blocks while getting plenty of help from the locals led by Banchero, who shone off the bench with 18 markers built on three triples. 

Newsome and Cliff Hodge chipped in 12 points each with the latter also collecting nine rebounds and two assists. 

Hollis-Jefferson's efforts went for naught as he finished with huge 47 points laced with 12 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block while Jayson Castro chimed in with 19 markers and five dimes. 


Meralco 109 – Braimoh 37, banchero 18, Quinto 13, Hodge 12, Newsome 12, Dario 6, Almazan 6, Bates 0, Caram 5, Rios 0.

TNT 95 – Hollis-Jefferson 47, Castro 19, Khobuntin 8, K.Williams 5, Reyes 5, Oftana 4, Montalbo 3, Galinato 2, Heruela 2, Ponferrada 0, Tungcab 0, Tolomia 0.

Quarters: 29-21, 52-42, 80-70, 109-95.

—Bea Micaller/JKC, GMA Integrated News