Oct 18, 2019

Amer leads Bolts' power surge over Elite

BASER Amer was aching to atone for a sorry performance in Meralco's last game and it showed.

Amer scored all of the Bolts' last 10 points to boost them to a 106-97 victory over the Blackwater Elite Friday in the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

In all, Amer finished with 17 points, not bad at all for someone who scored 11 points in the first quarter but only two the rest of the way in Meralco's 116-113 loss to TNT last Saturday.

Allen Durham led everybody with 27 points on top of 13 rebounds and seven assists while Raymond Almazan had his own double-double of 19 points and 10 boards as the Bolts improved to a 4-2 record overall.

The loss was Blackwater's fourth in six games, dropping it to a tie for eighth with idle NorthPort.

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Mike Digregorio came off the bench to fire 22 points anchored on a 6-for-7 three-point shooting while Marqus Blakely wound up with 15 points, a game-high 17 rebounds, seven assists and four steals.

Bobby Ray Parks, Allein Maliksi, Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Mac Belo scored at least 10 points each, but those were still not enough to boost the Elite to a follow-up to their 95-89 win over Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok only last Wednesday.

A huge chunk of the credit goes to Meralco going on a power surge whenever Blackwater, which trailed by 10 multiple times earlier in the contest, threatened.

Typifying that the most was Amer, whose timely explosion put away the game for good. By the time he boomed in his second triple of the quarter and third in all, the Bolts were sitting on a 106-92 lead, only 70 seconds left.

John Kier Quinto also helped with two of his own triples in the decisive canto, where Meralco boomed in five from deep after going 2-for-10 from beyond the arc in the first three quarters. His first stretched the Bolts' lead to 92-83 and the second made it a 96-86 count before Amer took over.

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Parks, limited to just five points and just four tries in the Magnolia game, missed his first two shots but found his old fiery touch with all of his points in the third period, enabling the Elite to stay within 74-80.

Belo's trey and Blakely's putback even pushed Blackwater within 81-85, but that would prove the Elite's most noteworthy stand.

Durham was already flirting with a triple-double with 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists at the half which Meralco took 56-50.

But the two-time Best Import awardee concentrated more on defense and being a facilitator, leaving the offense mostly to KG Canaleta and Almazan.

Canaleta scattered 13 points and Almazan 11 of his 13 first-half points in the second quarter, enabling the Bolts to erect as much as a 50-40 spread.

Good thing Digregorio was on target from beyond the arc, booming in all his four attempts from deep and getting help from Belo and Maliksi in keeping Blackwater hanging on.

Up next for Blackwater is Rain or Shine on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome while Meralco gets ample rest before facing San Miguel Beer next Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. (NC)