Jose, Meralco welcome Black with Game 2 win

REYMAR JOSE and the Meralco Bolts gave returning coach Norman Black a 99-88 victory in Game 2 over San Miguel Beer that sent their semifinals series to a 1-1 tie in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

Jose scored 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, while Cliff Hodge, Chris Newsome and Aaron Black made baskets that mattered down the stretch as the Bolts bounced back from a 97-121 beating in Game 1.

“It’s something we always preach as we want to get about 26 assists per game and we want everybody to be involved in offense,” said Meralco coach Norman Black, who returned to duty after a few weeks break in the US where his mom Bessie passed away.

“It will be a little bit more difficult for teams to stop us if it’s more manageable, all around and a lot of guys scoring,” Black said.

Hodge registered a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds while Allein Maliksi tallied 15 points. Black also added seven of his 15 points in the last quarter with Newsome contributing 14 points and nine rebounds.

The Bolts outscored the Beermen in the last period, 23-16, after squandering a 37-20 lead at halftime.

San Miguel Beer was ahead, 54-51, early in the third period, but Meralco recovered behind Newsome and Maliksi to get the lead back, 76-72, entering the fourth quarter.

June Mar Fajardo scored 22 points, hauled down 17 rebounds and blocked two shots and Marcio Lassiter scored 16 points for the Beermen.