PBA: NLEX flees Meralco as Bolick hits once more

Mar 8, 2024

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At the SMART Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night, NLEX secured its second victory in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup, defeating Meralco 99-96 thanks to crucial free throws once more made by Robert Bolick.

Bolick led the Road Warriors in their comeback win after falling short of Terrafirma 99-95 last Sunday. He also grabbed eight rebounds and four assists in addition to going a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line.

In 24 minutes as a starter, Enoch Valdez came through in the clutch, finishing with 12 points, six rebounds, three steals, and a block.

All 12 players fielded by Lim scored at least two points in the victory, raising their card to 2-1. Fellow rookie Jhan Nermal added 11 points.

After the victory, the crew is presently ranked third individually in the team standings, but not before holding off a valiant last-second push by the Bolts.

With 26.3 seconds remaining, NLEX had already established a 98-91 lead thanks to flawless trips to the line by Tony Semerad and Bolick; however, with 19.1 ticks remaining, Chris Newsome and Allein Maliksi worked together to bring Meralco within two, 98-96.

With 13.6 seconds remaining, Valdez had a chance to seal the victory, but he was only able to split his free throws, giving the opponents a chance to take the lead.

Nevertheless, Robbie Herndon was there to grab the rebound as time ran out after Newsome missed the potentially game-winning three.

On Saturday, March 9, at 6:15 p.m., NLEX will take on the winless Converge (0-3) in an attempt to start a winning streak. 

On the other side, Newsome led Meralco by example with 22 points and eight rebounds in the defeat that saw them fall to a 1-2 record.

In his first game back, Raymar Jose scored fourteen points, Raymond Almazan scored thirteen points and pulled down seven rebounds, and Maliksi scored twelve points. In the defeat, Cliff Hodge contributed 10 points and seven rebounds.

The next Sunday, March 10, at 3 p.m., Meralco will play NorthPort. in Araneta.

The Scores

Bolick 26, Nermal 12, Valdez 11, Herndon 9, Semerad 9, Marcelo 7, Miranda 7, Fajardo 6, Nieto 5, Amer 3, Pascual 2, Ular 2.

Meralco 96 – Newsome 22, Jose 14, Almazan 13, Maliksi 12, Hodge 10, Torres 9, Black 5, Quinto 5, Banchero 4, Rios 2, Mendo

Quarter scores: 26-28, 51-43, 64-72, 99-96.

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