Bolts take the lead over Beermen in electrifying match

In a thrilling match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, the Meralco Bolts emerged victorious in Game 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against the San Miguel Beermen with a score of 93-86. Despite a tough Game 7 win over Barangay Ginebra last week, the Bolts showed no signs of fatigue as they pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Chris Banchero and Chris Newsome led the charge for Meralco, each contributing 18 points. Banchero also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists, while Newsome recorded six boards, five assists, and two steals. The Bolts found themselves trailing by three early in the fourth quarter but managed to unleash a 17-6 run to take an eight-point lead with 3:24 remaining.

A layup by CJ Perez helped the Beermen narrow the gap to six points, but key plays by Raymond Almazan and Banchero sealed the victory for Meralco. The Bolts dominated the offensive boards in the final quarter, recording 10 offensive rebounds, with four coming in the last four minutes.

June Mar Fajardo led the scoring for the Beermen with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while CJ Perez added 20 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Marcio Lassiter contributed 16 points for San Miguel.

The defensive effort from the Bolts in the second half was crucial, as they limited the Beermen to just 35 points in the last two quarters. Game 2 of the best-of-seven championship round is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the same venue.

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