Meralco withstands Terrafirma’s strong effort to secure spot in playoffs bonus

Meralco Bolts survive Terrafirma’s gallant stand to keep playoff hopes alive

In a thrilling match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday, January 12, the Meralco Bolts managed to hold off Terrafirma, securing a 109-102 victory and keeping their hopes alive for a twice-to-beat bonus in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Shonn Miller and Cliff Hodge were the heroes for the Bolts, delivering crucial plays down the stretch to secure the much-needed win. With the score tied at 98-all midway through the final frame, the Bolts went on an 11-2 blitz spearheaded by Miller and Hodge, creating the separation they needed to secure the victory.

The win improved Meralco’s record to 8-3, putting them in contention for a place inside the top 4. However, their fate also depended on the outcome of the Barangay Ginebra vs NLEX match the following day, as they needed Ginebra to lose to claim the coveted twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.

Miller had a dominant performance, bouncing back from a previous game with 29 points and 20 rebounds. Bong Quinto also provided a significant contribution with a season-high 20 points, 16 of which came in the first half. Hodge finished with 11 crucial points, including back-to-back layups that sparked the Bolts’ decisive run.

Despite some tense moments, especially when Terrafirma took a 91-85 lead in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Meralco managed to outscore their opponents and ultimately seize control of the game.

Stephen Holt led Terrafirma with a career-high 26 points, while Juami Tiongson contributed 21 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Javi Gomez De Liano chipped in 15 points, but it wasn’t enough to lift Terrafirma to victory, ending the conference on an eight-game losing streak and finishing with a 2-9 record.

The hard-fought victory keeps Meralco’s playoff hopes alive and sets the stage for an exciting conclusion to the Commissioner’s Cup.

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