Chris Newsome knocked big baskets as Meralco slipped past Magnolia with a 109-104 overtime victory Tuesday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Newsome hit a go-ahead three with over two minutes remaining in the extension to put the Bolts in front for good at 102-100, before hitting a difficult jumper in the right corner, 10.2 ticks to go, to extend the lead to 107-104.
Magnolia tried to send the game to a second overtime but Paul Lee, whose two free throws forced the extra session, missed a jumper while stepping on the three-point line before Raymond Almazan sealed the final count by hitting two foul shots.
The Bolts bounced back from Sunday’s 105-91 loss to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and improved to 2-2 despite trailing 77-67 early in the fourth quarter.
Lee fired a game-high 32 points but Magnolia, playing without Ian Sangalang and Rome dela Rosa due to injuries, suffered a second straight loss and dropped to 1-3.
With starting guard Baser Amer struggling, the Bolts got a huge lift from rookie Aaron Black and Trevis Jackson, whose back-to-back triples enabled them to take the lead 91-90, 57.2 left in the fourth.
But Meralco couldn’t preserve the win in regulation as Jackson split his two free throws while ahead, 94-92, and John Pinto gave an ill-advised foul on Lee, who calmly sank both charities to even the count with 13 seconds.
Newsome tried to go for the win in the final seconds but attempted a difficult jumper as time expired.
“I told the players that ’Hey, we’re in overtime so we still have a chance to win the game. Let’s just go out and win the game. Let’s not worry about what happened, just focus on what’s in front of us,’” Bolts coach Meralco Black said.
“And the guys really played very well in the overtime period,” added Black, who saw Newsome, Meralco’s topscorer with 23 points, make up for his missed attempt.
Capitalizing on being open, Newsome drained a three off an offensive rebound by Cliff Hodge that gave Meralco the aforementioned 102-100 lead.
Hodge hit two free throws and Magnolia’s Jackson Corpuz scored a layup before Newsome split his foul throws and Mark Barroca scored a bank shot to reduce Meralco’s lead to 105-104.
The Bolts’ Reynel Hugnatan missed a three-point attempt but Hodge tapped the ball to Newsome, who then fired a jumper off Barroca for 107-104.
Aaron Black had a season-high 16 points and Jackson added 10 to give Meralco stability in the backcourt with Amer held to just one point. Hodge finished with 12 points and nine rebounds and Hugnatan added 11.
MERALCO 109 — Newsome 23, Black 16, Hodge 12, Hugnatan 11, Jackson 10, Quinto 8, Almazan 8, Maliksi 8, Jamito 8, Pinto 4, Amer 1, Caram 0.
MAGNOLIA 104 — Lee 32, Barroca 17, Jalalon 13, Banchero 13, Corpuz 12, Melton 6, Reavis 4, Pascual 4, Dionisio 3, Calisaan 0.
Quarters: 19-25, 46-46, 73-67, 94-94 (Reg), 109-104 (OT).