by Jonas Terrado
Games Friday (Mall of Asia Arena)
4:30 p.m. – Columbian vs Blackwater
7 p.m. – Alaska vs Phoenix Pulse
Rashawn McCarthy scored a career-high 30 points as the Columbian Dyip snapped a three-game skid by edging the Meralco Bolts, 86-85, in the resumption of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
McCarthy bucked a scoreless first quarter by making 11-of-22 shots while knocking down crucial baskets in the final minutes which were enough to help the Dyip regain their winning ways in the season-opening tournament.
Columbian moved to eighth place in the standings at 3-4, giving the usually-floundering squad a ray of hope with four games left in the eliminations.
The Dyip play the Blackwater Elite on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena but will have their hands full against Rain or Shine, Magnolia and TNT KaTropa next month
A three-point play by McCarthy off a Chris Newsome foul made it 81-80 for the Dyip before the former San Miguel guard drained an elbow triple several plays later to extend their lead up to six, 86-80, with 2:29 remaining.
But the Dyip were put in a difficult predicament after Chris Newsome pulled his team within a point, 86-85, and the Bolts getting a stop with 14 seconds left.
Baser Amer, however, missed a hurried jumper and Cliff Hodge’s corner shot was off as time expired.
McCarthy’s big game came after struggling in losses to the NLEX Road Warriors, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Alaska Aces where he averaged 7.7 points on 31 percent from the field.
Newsome finished with 17 points and Hodge and Ranidel de Ocampo added 14 points apiece but Meralco fell to a tie for ninth with NLEX at 2-4.
It was a disappointing loss for the Bolts, who started the game strong and led 26-11 early in the second quarter.
Columbian slowly chipped away at Meralco’s lead to go into the half trailing 45-42.
Columbian 86 – McCarthy 30, Khobuntin 14, Camson 10, Perez 8, Cahilig 6, Corpuz 6, Escoto 4, Celda 3, Faundo 3, Calvo 2, Agovida 0.
Meralco 85 – Newsome 17, Hodge 14, De Ocampo 14, Amer 10, Salva 8, Quinto 7, Pinto 5, Canaleta 5, Tolomia 3, Hugnatan 2, Faundo 0, Jackson 0.
Quarters: 11-24, 42-45, 66-66, 86-85