Meralco overhauls 15-point deficit to nip Phoenix, spoils Jeff Chan debut

Meralco overcame the hot-shooting night of Phoenix new acquisition Jeff Chan as it returned to the winning track via a pulsating 107-104 decision in their PBA Governors’ Cup match on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

  • Career night for Garvo: Garvo Lanete stepped up big for the undermanned Bolts, finishing with a PBA career-high 27 points, including two pressured packed foul shots with 7.6 seconds left off a foul by RJ Jazul to help Meralco preserve the win.
  • Durham-Newsome lethal combo: Allen Durham dished off his usual big numbers of 33 points, 16 rebounds and 7 assists in a near triple-double, while the 6-2 Newsome came through with all-around stats line of 18 points, 8 rebounds, 7 steals and 6 assists.
  • Undermanned:  The Bolts played without injured Cliff Hodge (ankle), along with guards Baser Amer and Mike Tolomia, who left Friday afternoon with the rest of the Gilas cadets for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.
  • Spoiled debut: The loss was Phoenix’s fourth straight since a 2-0 start, spoiling the debut of new acquisition Jeff Chan, late in the first half, sparked the Fuel Masters’ run. The left-handed Chan banged in a conference-high 27 points, connecting on 11-of-15 from the floor as he tried to lift his new team against Meralco. Brandon Brown, stepping in for the injured import Eugene Phelps, gave a good account of himself in his first game in the PBA, finishing with 38 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. Brown’s potential game-tying three-point attempt though went hard off the iron as Phoenix fell short again.
  • Share of second spot: The win enabled Meralco to temporarily grab a share of second spot with NLEX with their 4-1 record. The Road Warriors handed the Bolts’ first loss this conference, a 100-94 decision last week.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava