The Meralco Bolts claimed one of the two a twice-to-beat advantage after beating the Alaska Aces, 107-101 on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
With the win, the Bolts improved to 8-2, two games ahead of second seed San Miguel Beermen (6-3). On the other hand, the Aces dropped to 6-4, tying Ginebra and the Rain or Shine Elastopainters.
Import Arinze Onuaku led the Bolts with 28 points, while Jimmy Alapag and Jared Dillinger contributed 16 markers each. Alapag’s six straight points in the final minutes of the game gave his team enough cushion to come away with the win. The Bolts will face either the seventh or eighth-seeded team in the quarterfinals.
With the score tied at 98, the Mighty Mouse toyed with the Aces’ defense and made one big basket after another.
Calvin “The Beast” Abueva led five other Aces in double digits with 27 markers while Vic Manuel added 13. RJ Jazul, Chris Banchero, and Cyrus Baguio finished the game with 12 apiece.
The Meralco Bolts will wrap up the elimination round campaign against the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Beer on Wednesday, April 13. Meanwhile, the Aces will play the NLEX Road Warriors on Friday, April 15.