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Durham, Hugnatan keep Meralco alive

Meralco Bolts' Reynel Hugnatan during Game Three of the PBA Finals series with Barangay Ginebra, Wednesday night. | PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines — The Meralco Bolts leaned on the late-game heroics of Allen Durham and Reynel Hugnatan to snare their first win, 94-81, in Game Three of their PBA Governors Cup Finals series with Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday night.

Before a partisan crowd of 12,115 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Durham and Hugnatan combined for 19 points in the payoff period to help the Bolts upend the Gin Kings.

Meralco sparked for a furious run in the final five minutes of the game — eerily similar to how the Kings mounted theirs in in the previous tussle. The Bolts uncorked a 19-4 run in that turnaround, with the two-time Best Import and the rarely-used Hugnatan shining.

“The game becomes a lot easier if you can make shots. A lot of credit goes to Reynel who stepped up and made a lot of threes for us today,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.

Justin Brownlee paced the Kings anew with 15 points. But it was only him along with six other Gin Kings who were able to contribute to the scoring effort.

Durham finished the game with another monstrous line of 38 total points and 20 boards. Hugnatan, for his part, tallied 22 points.

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“Our defense was pretty solid just like it was last game. The difference was we just played defense for 48 minutes instead of just 44,” Black added.

Game Four of the series is on Friday at the Big Dome. Game Five, on the other hand, will be played at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue in Bulacan.

The league will again ferry ticketholders to the venue on a first-come first-served basis. The pick-up sites are yet to be determined.

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