Baser Amer had 20 points, six rebounds, and eight assists as Meralco took care of Blackwater easily to start the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup.
Meralco’s revenge tour started with a pretty emphatic statement.
The Bolts opened the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup with a convincing 107-78 beating of Blackwater Friday at the Big Dome, showing deadly form in the same conference where they made their first Finals appearance a season ago.
The game was practically over in the first quarter when Meralco opened up an 18-point lead, 24-6, after an 11-0 run.
Come the second half, the Bolts led by as many as 39 points, 93-54, before cruising for the win.
“It was exactly the kind of start we were hoping for. Going into the conference, we played pretty well in our last two exhibition games against Alaska and Globalport,” head coach Norman Black said.
“We were hoping we could carry that over into our game today. We came out very strong defensively, we were able to pick up a lot of stops in the first quarter and our offense started to click especially with [Garvo] Lanete hitting those long bombs,” he added.
True enough, Garvo Lanete, playing his first game for Meralco since being traded from NLEX in the Commissioner’s Cup, fired nine point in the second quarter as Meralco started to really put the game on ice.
Lanete was a nice complement to Baser Amer who continued his breakout performance by putting up 20 points, six rebounds, and eight assists with zero turnovers to lead the Bolts’ offense.
Reigning Best Import Allen Durham also had a solid return, going for 18 points nad 21 rebounds while Lanete added 15. Veteran forward Jared Dillinger was good for 14 poins and reigning Rookie of the Year Chris Newsome contributed 13.
“I think it was an effort by a lot of people that really helped us today. Baser Amer played very good in the first half, distributing the basketball and geting out on fastbreaks,” Black said.
“I thought AD [Durham] did his job of drawing the double teams and giving up the basketball. I was quite happy with the way we passed the basketball today, a lot of assists in the first half. Hopefully we can continue that throughout the conference. It’s a great start for us,” the Grand Slam coach added.
Blackwater, who scored the first basket of the game before completely collapsing, got 25 points from import Trevis Simpson. However, local support was extremely lacking for the Elite as Bam Gamalinda was the only other player to crack double digits, scoring 10 points.
MERALCO 107 – Amer 20, Durham 18, Lanete 15, Dillinger 14, Newsome 13, Hodge 11, Hugnatan 4, Nabong 4, Caram 2, Yeo 2, Sedurifa 2, Faundo 2, Chua 0, Atkins 0.
BLACKWATER 78 – Simpson 25, Gamalinda 10, Sena 7, Cruz 7, Digregorio 6, Sumang 5, Erram 4, Canaleta 3, Pascual 3, Aguilar 2, Miranda 2, Banal 2, Cervantes 2, Buenafe 0, Pinto 0.
Quarters: 32-15, 63-34, 88-52, 107-78.
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