Beermen fall to Bolts in season opener

Meralco continued its mastery over San Miguel, whipping the Leo Austria-mentored squad, 93-87, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup elimination round, Sunday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The Bolts picked up their second straight win in the conference and their third consecutive over the Beermen, dating back to last season’s quarterfinal round.

Chris Newsome led the charge with 17 points, including the dagger trey with 40 ticks left in the game, while Aaron Black and Nards Pinto backed him up with 14 and 11 markers, respectively.

“We’re always happy to get wins at this point in the season,” said Bolts coach Norman Black during the post-game presser. “We don’t want to get left behind. We’re very, very happy with the fact that we’re starting off 2-0.”

“We got off to a slow start. San Miguel really played aggressively in the first quarter and caught us on our heels. We didn’t respond very well to their physicality. But we settled down towards the end of the first quarter, and the second quarter. In the second half, I think our conditioning came into play and we were able to pull away,” he added.

Terrence Romeo, who exited the PBA bubble last season after only 2 games due to a shoulder injury, came back with a bang and dropped 18 points but left the game early in the payoff period after hurting his left knee.

Mo Tautuaa and the debuting CJ Perez both finished with 17 points while Marcio Lassiter added 11.

June Mar Fajardo also returned to action and contributed 5 points, 5 boards and an assist in 18 minutes of play.

San Miguel will try to bounce back on Friday, July 23 when they take on the NLEX Road Warriors at the same venue.

The scores:

Meralco 93 – Newsome 17, Black 14, Hugnatan 13, Pinto 11, Quinto 7, Maliksi 7, Pasaol 7, Belo 7, Hodge 4, Almazan 4, Jackson 0.

San Miguel 87 – Romeo 18, Tautuaa 17, Perez 17, Lassiter 11, Santos 8, Ross 5, Fajardo 5, Cabagnot 4, Gotladera 2, Pessumal 0.

Quarterscores: 18-25, 42-41, 74-59, 93-87.

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