Meralco got a further feel for how things will go under new coach Luigi Trillo as he beat NorthPort, 97-89 to start the PBA On Tour Wednesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Five players scored twice as many points for the Bolts, who are using a two-month exhibition series to familiarize themselves with Trillo’s system after management’s decision. training correction a few weeks ago.
Key minutes were awarded to the regular reserve team as Meralco came on without the main substitutes Chris Newsome, Aaron Black and Chris Banchero for various reasons.
Allein Maliksi scored the most points for the Bolts with 21 points on 8/17 shots while Bong Quinto added 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
Cliff Hodge scored 11 points and 10 rebounds, Anjo Caram scored 11 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists while big man Norbert Torres had 10 points and 8 bounces after getting from Rain or Shine in a transaction that sent Mac Belo last week.
Jeff Chan has scored 20 points for NorthPort, who are in the process of finding a suitable replacement for key scorer Robert Bolick following his decision to sign for Japan’s B.League.
NorthPort also brought in former Letran star Fran Yu, one of the few non-PBA players allowed to wear costumes for the series.
Yu scored five points in nearly 20 minutes for Batang Pier.
Maliksi and Quinto combined for 16 in the fourth inning as Meralco withdrew after NorthPort regrouped to draw 64 after three innings.
MERALCO 97 — Maliksi 21, Quinto 14, Hodge 11, Caram 11, Torres 10, Pascual 9, Pasaol 8, Jose 7, Almazan 6, Manday 0, Rios 0.
NORTH 89 — Chan 20, Calma 15, Zamar 12, Santos 9, Salado 8, Yu 5, Munzon 5, Taha 2, Olivario 2, Gabriel 0, Caperal 0, Comboy 0, Bulawan 0.
Rounds: 26-12, 51-40, 64-64, 97-89.
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