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Bolts fall short vs New Taipei Kings to remain winless in EASL

MANILA, Philippines – Victory continued to elude Meralco in the East Asia Super League (EASL) as the Bolts came up short against the New Taipei Kings, 97-92, at the New Taipei Xinzhuang Gymnasium on Wednesday.

Meralco actually lead the game, 66-65, going into the fourth quarter after Bong Quinto and Kenny Manigault Jr. traded baskets to end the third canto.

The Kings, however, started the fourth with a quick 8-0 run capped by a Manigault layup a minute and a half into the quarter to take a 73-66 lead.

Newly tapped import Zach Lofton and Chris Newsome teamed up to cut the lead to just one, 73-72, less than a minute later.

But New Taipei unleashed another 8-0 run to keep their distance, 81-72.
The lead was insurmountable.

The Bolts only managed to cut the lead to four, 82-86, with a Prince Ibeh jam with 4:11 remaining.

But another run was unleashed by New Taipei to keep Meralco at bay, 94-84, with 1:30 remaining.

While the Filipinos were able to cut the lead to just four once again with 20 seconds remaining through a 3-pointer by Newsome, a split from the line by Chin-Min Yang sealed the deal, 97-92.

Lofton missed a trey that would have helped the Bolts inch closer.

Former NBA star Jeremy Lin led the Kings with 25 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Manigault followed with 19 points and 11 boards.

Lofton finished with 35 points for the Bolts, with Newsome chipping in 16 markers.

Lin said after the game that it took a full team effort to get the win.

“Man, I’m proud of my team. Honestly, we have a lot of guys who can score the ball and who are extremely great players. But what I really liked was in the second half we were really locked in defensively. We got a lot of great defenders as well. This was a full team effort. Fun game,” Lin told reporters.

New Taipei is currently on top of Group B standings with a 2-0 record in the EASL. Meralco dropped to 0-2.