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Sports

Bolts keep Beermen at bay to tie PBA semis series

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Bolts keep Beermen at bay to tie PBA semis series
Aaron Black
PBA media bureau

MANILA, Philippines — The Meralco Bolts overpowered the San Miguel Beermen in Game Four of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, 111-97, to tie their best-of-seven series 2-2 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.

The Bolts weathered a Beermen comeback that sliced a 19-point lead to as small as five at halftime with a third period where they outscored them, 30-18.

That third quarter barrage included a 20-6 run to begin the frame that saw Meralco pull away, 78-59, with 6:09 left in the period.

With Aaron Black at the helm, Meralco built their lead back up and pushed it to as big as 22 points in the fourth frame.

The Bolts then made no mistake of it as they went tit-for-tat in the final quarter to keep themselves at a comfortable distance until the final buzzer.

Allein Maliksi hit the jumper with 3:22 left in the game to put Meralco up by 17, 106-89. This proved to be a large enough lead to help the Bolts hold on for the convincing victory.

Black paced the Bolts with 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Maliksi, for his part, added 19 markers. Cliff Hodge had 18 points, and his pesky defense resulted in two blocks.

Raymond Almazan also contributed 17 points off the bench.

CJ Perez led the Beermen in the losing effort with 24 points. June Mar Fajardo recorded a double-double of 21 points and 13 boards.

Both teams will shoot for the 3-2 lead when they face off anew on Friday, August 12, for Game Five at the same venue.

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