STA. ROSA, Laguna -- Exactly a year after clinching its first ever finals berth, Meralco is now a win away from getting another one.
The Bolts are now 2-0 up in the best-of-five PBA Governors' Cup semifinals with a 98-74 win over the Star Hotshots at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Comples on Tuesday night.
Despite giving up the match's first basket, Meralco stifled Star from thereon, eventually opening a 30-point cushion at the end of the third period.
The Hotshots did put a scare in the fourth framer, going on an 11-0 run to cut the lead to 19, 81-62, with 8:40 left, but the Bolts never gave them a chance to move closer.
Ranidel De Ocampo, Allen Durham, and Jared Dillinger each tallied 18 points for Meralco, which can finish the series back in Quezon City in Game 3 on Thursday night.
Mark Barroca led Star, which now needs to sweep the remaining three games to steal the finals berth, with 16 markers, two rebounds, and three assists.
Mon Abundo, in a rare moment that he got a long playing time, added 14 markers, two caroms, one dime, and one steal.
Paul Lee only played the first 3:44 of the game before sitting out the rest of the game after feeling some pain on his leg. (PNA)
Meralco 98 - Durham 18, Dillinger 18, De Ocampo 18, Amer 16, Newsome 10, Hodge 9, Tolomia 7, Faundo 2, Lanete 0, Hugnatan 0, Caram 0, Sedurifa 0, Yeo 0
Star 74 - Barroca 16, Abundo 14, Acox 9, Ramos 8, Sangalang 6, Melton 5, Pingris 5, Dela Rosa 4, Reavis 4, Brondial 3, Jalalon 0, Gamalinda 0, Siimon 0, Lee 0
Quarterscores: 30-11, 53-32, 78-48, 98-74