Meralco takes control of third, Alaska wins back-to-back games

The Meralco Bolts took control of the third seed in the standings with a dominant win over Barangay Ginebra. They put on a show in the first half to win, 101-77 and rise up to 6-2 for the conference. Ginebra drops to 5-3, as their four-game winning streak comes to an end.

Allen Durham powered his way past Ginebra defenders to lead the Bolts with 39 points on 76% shooting. He also had 12 rebounds and seven assists to complete his line. Bong Quinto helped Durham out with 13 points on two treys while Chris Newsome and Raymond Almazan combined for 21 points and 18 rebounds. Justin Brownlee scored 18 to lead Ginebra.

The Bolts took control of the game midway through the first period. From a one-point lead, Newsome, Durham and Bryan Faundo teamed up to lead the Bolts on a 11-2 run to close the quarter. They built an 11-point lead heading to the second period and only piled it on after that. Durham opened the second period by scoring nine of the first 14 points to the team. His triple at the midway mark of the second gave Meralco a 17-point lead. That opened the flood gates as the Bolts ran away with the win.

The Bolts led by as much as 28 points in the game. They shot a blistering 51% from the field including a clean 40% from beyond the arc with 12 makes. Their defense shut down Ginebra forcing them to hit only 37% of their shots. Meralco also outrebounded Ginebra 56-38, to further highlight their dominance.

In the first game, the Alaska Aces shrugged off trade talks to win their second straight game, beating the NorthPort Batang Pier 106-99. Alaska rises up to 3-6, inching in on NorthPort who is slightly above them at 3-5.

Chris Banchero, subject to trade talks did not play in the game. The Aces leaned on their big man combo Frank House and Vic Manuel to lead them to the win. The two physical bigs scored 23 points each. Both also finished with a double-double as House had 11 rebounds and Manuel had 10. Jeron Teng added 13 from off the bench. Christin Standhardinger and Michael Qualls had 37 and 35 respectively, but the rest of the Batang Pier were shut down in the game.

Both teams traded run all throughout the game. NorthPort squeezed out of the first period with a one-point lead and Alaska countered with a second quarter push that put them up ahead by five. The Aces kept the lead all the way until the fourth quarter where the Batang Pier tried to make a run.

Standhardinger tried to carry his team back into the game. His buckets in the paint got the Batang Pier as close as four points multiple times in the final period. But the Aces had an answer to every Standhardinger run. In the end, Abu Tratter, Kevin Racal, Simon Enciso and Manuel all hit big shots from the field and from the line to keep Alaska ahead for good.