Meralco’s Ranidel de Ocampo keeps possession even as he is to crash down the floor in a dispute with SMB’s Christian Standhardinger.
Jun Mendoza
KaTropa nail No. 1; Bolts get shot at No. 8
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - July 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sizzling TNT KaTropa soared to the No. 1 seeding while Meralco gained a playoff for the eighth and last quarterfinal spot after scoring big victories last night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

With super import Terrence Jones striking hard with 26 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and five blocks, the KaTropa routed Magnolia, 98-83, to finish their elims slate with eight straight wins and 10-1 overall.

RR Pogoy (20), Jayson Castro (13) and Brian Heruela (13) also had good scoring nights as the KaTropa continued their winning habit en route to the top ranking in the Last Eight, where they will enjoy a win-once incentive against the eighth seed, either Alaska or Meralco.

The Bolts earlier earned a shot at No. 8 against the Aces after bringing down fancied San Miguel Beer, 95-91.

Delroy James came up big against SMB’s five-star import Chris McCullough, delivering 34 big points, including his team’s last six points, to go with six assists and five rebounds as the Bolts finished at 4-7 card in a tie with the Aces and the Phoenix Fuel Masters.

Upon the application of the quotient tiebreak, Phoenix bowed out due to inferior quotient.

Meanwhile, the Hotshots and the Beermen slid to joint fifth with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at 5-6. Magnolia ended up No. 5, Rain or Shine No. 6 and San Miguel No. 7 after the tiebreak.

And it’s Magnolia versus Barangay Ginebra and Blackwater opposite ROS in the pair of best-of-three showdowns in the quarters.

SMB takes on No. 2 NorthPort, needing to win two in a row to advance to the Final Four.

“It’s a game we needed very badly just to stay alive,” said Meralco coach Norman Black, whose team got a lifeline when Blackwater stalled Alaska at four victories last Sunday.

The scores: 

First Game

Meralco 95 – James 34, Newsome 20, Almazan 15, Faundo 10, Amer 8, Jackson 3, Quinto 3, Hodge 2, Salva 0, De Ocampo 0.

San Miguel 91 – McCullough 27, Fajardo 27, Romeo 11, Standhardinger 9, Santos 6, Lassiter 3, Nabong 3, Pessumal 3, Ross 2, Rosser 0. 

Quarterscores: 22-21, 42-42, 74-70, 95-91

Second Game

TNT 98 – Jones 26, Pogoy 20, Castro 13, Heruela 13, Magat 8, Reyes 5, Trollano 5, A. Semerad 3, Washington 3, Bono 2, Casino 0, D. Semerad 0, Golla 0, Taha 0.

Magnolia 83 – Lee 23, Simon 16, Sangalang 15, Jalalon 9, Christmas 8, Pingris 6, Barroca 2, Dela Rosa 2, Herndon 2, Ramos 0, Melton 0, Reavis 0, Abundo 0.

Quarterscores: 20-19, 45-37, 74-59, 98-83

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