Jared Dillinger shoots Meralco past Alaska as Bolts tie PBA semis series, 1-all. Meralco’s Jared Dillinger came alive at just the right time, making some big-time shots as the Bolts hurdled Alaska, 92-87, in Game 2 of the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Dillinger scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter – including two big three-pointers in the last three minutes of the game – as the Bolts came back from a double-digit lead to tie the best-of-five series, 1-apiece.
Import Arinze Onuaku led Meralco with 22 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists while Chris Newsome added 19 points and eight boards.
Veteran Reynel Hugnatan also added 15 points while point guard Jimmy Alapag had only three markers but notched a game-high eight assists.
Down 77-63 at the 9:15 mark of the final period, Dillinger knocked down a trey to kickstart a huge 17-2 rally for Meralco.
Onuaku then scored on a post-up play and Newsome left everyone behind for a big dunk in transition that brought them back within striking distance, 77-70.
Alaska import Rob Dozier, who finished with a game-high 28 points, banked in a shot to give the Aces their only points in that stretch.
Dillinger, though, didn’t waste any time, scoring off a swift counter-attack. Alapag then set Onuaku up with a well-place drop pass for an easy basket before making a big play for himself as he drilled a pull-up three-pointer that made it a one-point game, 79-78
After a turnover by Alaska point guard RJ Jazul, it was Dillinger, fittingly, that put his team up with a jumper, 80-79, with 4:16 remaining.
The Aces tied the game at 82-all but Dillinger hit a triple from the corner to push the Bolts ahead. After Dozier scored on the other end, Dillinger again came up big with his fifth trey of the game, 88-84.
Meralco got some key baskets from Onuaku and Hugnatan in the endgame to seal the win.
The Final Scores and Replay:
Meralco 92 – Onuaku 22, Dillinger 20, Newsome 19, Hugnatan 15, Hodge 7, Alapag 3, R Buenafe 2, Caram 2, Ferriols 2, Amer 0, Faundo 0.
Alaska 87 — Dozier 28, Abueva 18, Baguio 10, Banchero 9, Baclao 5, Dela Cruz 5, Jazul 4, Thoss 4, Hontiveros 2, Menk 2, Eman 0, EXciminiano 0.
Quarters: 14-17; 37-44; 61-70; 92-87.