The Meralco Bolts beat the Alaska Aces in a convincing 86-70 victory on Monday night at the Smart-Araneta to force a winner-takes-all Game Five on Wednesday.
The first two quarters were close as the Bolts only led by two points by halftime. In the third period, they shifted gears and capped the frame with an 8-2 run. They continued the scoring onslaught to post their biggest lead in the game at 77-56.
The Aces were able to trim the gap at 79-66 with over two minutes left in the game via their trademark full court press, but Jimmy Alapag nailed a dagger trey to take the fight out of Alaska.
Jared Dillinger redeemed himself from a subpar performance in Game Three by bannering the Bolts with 17 points. He made four triples in the game including a buzzer-beater to end the third quarter, giving his team 62-52 advantage.
Import Arinze Onuaku and Cliff Hodge supported Dillinger’s scoring with solid offense inside the paint. The two combined for 30 points and 28 boards.
On the opposite side, import Rob Dozier paced the Aces with 18 points, while Calvin Abueva and Rj Jazul had 10 points apiece. However, Alaska only shot a miserable 33 percent from the field. They also lost the battle of the boards, giving a 50-39 edge to the Bolts.
The winner on Wednesday’s Game Five will earn the right to face the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in a best-of-seven title series. The E-Painters won their matchup against the San Miguel Beermen last Sunday.