Bolts continue to rise, Hotshots bounce back

The Meralco Bolts continue their strong play this conference. They dominate the San Miguel Beermen, 125-99 to take the third spot in the standings. The Bolts rise up to 5-2 for the conference, dropping San Miguel to 5-3 with their second straight loss.

Allen Durham notched a triple-double to lead a balanced effort by the Bolts. He had 29 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists in the game. Baser Amer backed him up with 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Four other players got to double figures, including newcomer Allein Maliksi who scored 12. June Mar Fajardo led the Beermen with Dez Wells leaving the game due to injury. He had 31 points and 13 rebounds.

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The Bolts set the tone with a strong run to open the game. All five starters got on the board as Meralco jumped out to a 20-8 lead. Maliksi checked in midway through the period and provided a production from off the bench with back-to-back triples to help Meralco grow their lead to 14. The Bolts led comfortably for much of the first half, taking a 15-point lead heading to the break.

The Bolts pulled away from the Beermen for good in the fourth quarter. Durham, Amer, Raymond Almazan and Bong Quinto once again teamed up to lead the Bolts to another scoring binge. From a 17-point lead, they grew their gap to 27 points, their biggest of the game. Meralco cruised their way to the easy win after that.

In the first game, the Magnolia Hotshots bounced back from a loss in their last game with an easy 118-103 win over the Columbian Dyip. Magnolia gets their fourth win against four losses while the Dyip drop down to 4-5.

Romeo Travis powered the Hotshots to the win with a 28-8-6-2-2 statline. Ian Sangalang helped him out with 24 points and eight rebounds from off the bench. Jio Jalalon nearly had a triple-double with 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. CJ Perez led Columbian with 28 points and eight rebounds.

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Magnolia used a strong second quarter run to turn a two-point deficit into a nine-point lead. Sangalang opened the second quarter with four straight points to help the Hotshots regain control of the game. From there, the Hotshots were able to trade blows with the Dyip until the final minutes of the period. That’s when Jalalon, Sangalang, Travis and Rome Dela Rosa unleashed a 12-4 run that helped them build a nine-point lead heading to the half.

Magnolia progressively took over the game after that. Sangalang and Travis continued to drop buckets in the second half, keeping Columbian at bay. The Hotshots built an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter, their biggest of the game. That was enough of a spread to secure the win.