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Bolts hotter than Hotshots

Greg Slaughter of Barangay Ginebra takes a left-handed shot against John Paul Erram of Blackwater Elite in their PBA Governors Cup matchup Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena. Ginebra won, 98-81. JOEY MENDOZA

Games today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)

4:30 p.m. – Kia vs Alaska

6:45 p.m. Ginebra vs San Miguel

MANILA, Philippines — Allen Durham churned out a near triple-double job and the Meralco Bolts fed on the energy of their hardworking import as they clobbered the Star Hotshots, 96-90, to boost their Top Four bid in the PBA Governors Cup at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Sta. Rosa, Laguna last night.

Durham delivered 29 points, 27 rebounds and seven assists to lead Meralco’s big turnaround from a rusty performance against the TNT KaTropa Texters Wednesday coming from a long 18-day layoff.

The Bolts recalled their sharp form in their Petron Blaze road showdown versus the Hotshots and, thus, boosted their stock in the Top Four with a 6-2 win-loss card.

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Meralco terribly beat Star on hustle plays and sent the Hotshots reeling to a third straight loss that dropped them deeper to joint fifth with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the San Miguel Beermen at 4-3.

Barangay Ginebra tries to seal a spot in the Top Four while San Miguel seeks solo fifth as they face off in a key match over at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight.

June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter clash in a duel of giants for the first time in a long while to highlight the much-anticipated matchup between the defending champion Kings and the grand slam-chasing Beermen.

Unsteady with Wendell McKines and Terik Bridgeman, the Beermen are unveiling another import sub in Terrence Watson in their 6:45 p.m. tiff with the Kings and their tested import Justin Brownlee.

The Bolts pummeled the Hotshots, 13-0, on fastbreaks; 13-6, off turnovers; and, 11-1, on second-chance points as Meralco erected an early 19-point spread then took the half at 59-41.

Durham and his teammates later stretched their lead to 20 before fending off the Hotshots’ last-ditch stand.

Meralco’s first stringers all came out with their guns ablaze, with Chris Newsome, Cliff Hodge, Baser Amer and Garvo Lanete firing at least 11 points each.

The Meralco starting unit clobbered its Star counterpart, 76-58.

Amer and Lanete fired three triples each, helping fuel their early breakaway.

Durham had had 15 points, 14 rebounds and five assists as against Malcolm Hill’s 10 markers, four boards and one dish-off in the first 24 minutes of play.

Hill finished with 28 points but the Star local top guns had meager outputs, including Mark Barroca and Allein Maliksi with just five and seven, respectively.

The Bolts got off to a jackrabbit start and took the opening quarter at 32-15.

The scores: 

Meralco 96 – Durham 29, Newsome 17, Hodge 15, Amer 13, Lanete 11, Tolomia 7, Dillinger 2, Hugnatan 2, Sedurifa 0, Caram 0, Nabong 0. 

Star 90 – Hill 28, Jalalon 15, Sangalang 11, Lee 9, Maliksi 7, Ramos 7, Pingris 6, Barroca 5, Brondial 0, Dela Rosa 0, Simon 0, Melton 0. 

Quarterscores: 32-15, 59-41, 74-67, 96-90

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