MANILA, Philippines—Making good on his promise to be better, Tony Bishop Jr. turned in an all-around performance on Sunday to help will Meraclo past Magnolia, 101-95, as the Bolts moved on the cusp of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
The Panamanian standout put up 27 points and 10 rebounds while coming through in another tight endgame against the top-seeded Hotshots.
“At this point in the season, it’s gonna go one way or another for you. I mean, you’re either going to get a couple of wins and go to the finals, or you’re gonna get eliminated,” said head coach Norman Black, whose charges seized control of the race-to-three duel at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“This is like a turning point for both teams. We just thought this was a very pivotal game for us in this series, and if we could win the game, it gives us a much better chance of making it to the championship,” he added.
Also making significant contributions for Meralco was Chris Banchero, who led three more locals in double figures with 23 points.
Import Mike Harris paced Magnolia with 24 points and 17 rebounds. Mark Barroca and Ian Sanggalang added 15 and 14, respectively, but were shut down in the payoff period.
Meralco can slam the door on Magnolia this Wednesday when the games return to the cavernous Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
MERALCO 101 – Bishop 27, Banchero 23, Newsome 16, Quinto 10, Maliksi 10, Almazan 6, Hodge 4, Baclao 3, Black 2, Belo 0, Caram 0
MAGNOLIA 95 – Harris 24, Barroca 15, Sangalang 14, Jalalon 13, Abueva 8, Wong 7, Dela Rosa 7, Lee 5, Reavis 2
QUARTERS: 24-19, 46-50, 76-72, 101-95
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