The Meralco Bolts battled their way back after a fiery first quarter by the Petron Blaze Boosters to win their first match in the PBA Governors Cup, 89-83 over at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.
Meralco trailed Petron 16-28 after the first quarter but clamped up on defense from thereon.
Petron held Meralco at bay until the final minutes of the third quarter as Reynel Hugnatan, Chris Ross and Sunday Salvacion together with new recruits John Wilson and Alan Mangahas took turns in keeping the Bolts within striking distance and eventually the lead.
Adding to the woes of the Boosters were the missed free throws that proved to be costly in the last quarter as they were trailing Meralco.
Petron managed to close the gap 68-67 come the fourth quarter but Meralco slowly built on the lead with baskets as the Boosters continued their horrendous free throw showing.
Meralco was led by Mario West with 23 points while Reynel Hugnatan chipped in 20 points.
Elijah Millsap debuted with 24 points, most of which came in the first half. Arwind Santos followed with 16 points.
In the first game, a depleted TnT squad overcame Barako Bull in overtime with a 118-113 win.
Balik-import Tony Mitchell waxed hot with a game-high 48 points and 11 rebounds, enough to offset the absence of key TnT players who represented the country in the recently concluded FIBA Asia cup.
New recruits Sean Anthony backed up Mitchell with 23 points while Ryan Reyes had 19 for TnT which trailed most of the way in the early goings until a third quarter explosion got them back on track.
Talk N’ Text 118 – Mitchell 48, Anthony 23, Reyes R. 19, Reyes J. 11, Al-Hussaini 8, Aban 7, Peek 2, Raymundo 0, Aquino 0, Alvarez 0, Ferriols 0.
Barako 113 – Singletary 41, Macapagal 24, Pennisi 13, Intal 12, Monfort 9, Marcelo 4, Seigle 4, Jensen 3, Buenafe 3, Bulawan 0, Weinstein 0, Cruz 0.
Quarters: 26-31, 53-62, 81-80, 101-101, 118-113
Meralco 89 – West 23, Hugnatan 20, Ross 14, Salvacion 13, Wilson 9, Reyes 4, Mangahas 2, Hodge 2, Guevarra 2, Vanlandingham 0, Allado 0.
Petron 83 – MIllsap 24, Santos 16, Fajardo 12, Lassiter 8, Cabagnot 8, Tubid 7, Lutz 2, Lanete 2, Kramer 2, Miranda 2, Deutchman 0, Yeo 0, Ildefonso 0.
Quarters: 16-28, 39-41, 66-61, 89-83