Bolts rout Beermen to level semis series at 2-2

Meralco blew out San Miguel in Game 4 of the two teams’ best-of-seven semifinal match-up, 111-97, Wednesday in the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Aaron Black led the charge with a near triple-double performance of 21 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists plus a steal in 36 minutes of action as the Bolts picked up the their second win and leveled the series at 2-2.

“We’re trying to take advantage of what we saw in Game 3. We made the adjustments on how to attack their defense because their defense has been pretty good so far in the series. And it worked out for us,” said Meralco mentor Norman Black during the post-game presser.

“Offensively, we were able to go to our bigs, our bigs had a lot of confidence tonight. They took their shots, they made their shots, Raymond especially, and that was the key,” he added. “We saw in Game 3 that they (the Beermen) were actually leaving our bigs wide open. They have to make sure they have confidence to take the shots when they come.”

Allein Malkisi fired 19 points spiked by 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc while Cliff Hodge added 18 points and 7 boards. Raymond Almazan chipped in 17 points in 22 minutes of play.

“Maganda ang preparasyon sa aming ng mga coaches namin. At naniwala kami na kung tulong-tulong mai-stop namin si June Mar,” said Almazan who was chosen by TV panelists as the Best Player of the match.

CJ Perez paced the Beermen with 24 points while Marcio Lassiter scored 23. SMB main man June Mar Fajardo came through with 21 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

San Miguel will try to regain the series lead when the two sides clash in Game 5 which is scheduled on Firday, August 12, 6:00pm at the same venue.

The scores:

Meralco 111 — Black 21, Maliksi 19, Hodge 18, Almazan 17, Quinto 11, Newsome 8, Baclao 4, Belo 4, Hugnatan 3, Banchero 2, Pascual 2, Jose 2, Pasaol 0, Caram 0, Johnson 0.

San Miguel 97 — Perez 24, Lassiter 23, Fajardo 21, Brondial 9, Manuel 9, Canete 4, Zamar 3, Cruz 2, Tautuaa 1, Pessumal 1, Ross 0, Enciso 0, Herndon 0.

Quarterscores: 36-23, 58-53, 88-71, 111-97.

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