MANILA-Norman Black's return turned out to be the needed boost for Meralco to get one back at San Miguel as it prevailed, 99-88, in Game 2 of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Despite a second-quarter storm from the Beermen on a rainy afternoon, the Bolts regained their form just in time to equalize their best-of-seven series at one game apiece.
Meralco sizzled in the first quarter, opening a 34-20 lead in the first 12 minutes.
However, SMB surged ahead in the second quarter and even took a 54-51 lead early in the third.
The Bolts finished the third period on a 6-0 run to retake the lead and held the Beermen to just 16 in the fourth to seal the victory.
Cliff Hodge made 17 points, 14 rebounds, one assist, one block, and a steal. Aaron Black and Allein Maliksi each added 15 points. Chris Newsome had 14 and Toto Jose chipped in 13 to highlight Meralco's balanced attack.
"[Teamwork is] something we always preach," Black said after the game. "We want everybody to be involved in the offense so it's a little bit more difficult for teams to stop us."
June Mar Fajardo put up 22 markers, 17 boards, three dimes, and two blocks for SMB. (PNA)