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Bolts keep fingers crossed after scary win

MANILA, Philippines — Meralco survived a major power failure in the fourth period to squeak past NLEX, 97-94, and grab solo third in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup yesterday at the PhilSports Arena.

Fit-again guard Chris Banchero rescued the Bolts from the ignominy of letting a winning game slip away after leading by as many as 29 points, knocking down the marginal floater with 2.8 seconds left.

Luigi Trillo’s troops leaned on one last defensive stop – forcing Don Trollano to step out of bounds off the inbounds play – plus a split from Bong Quinto to get more breathing space, 97-94, and a missed Hail Mary from Kris Rosales to seal the escape.

Though going back to back for 4-1 overall behind Magnolia (5-0) and Phoenix (5-1), the Bolts were in no mood to celebrate. Who would be with import Su Braimoh possibly being sidelined beyond this match after going down with an Achilles injury at the 3:55 of the final canto?

“A win is a win but more than that, we’re worried about Su,” said Trillo of Braimoh, who limped out with Meralco still up, 90-81, and finished with 38 points.

“He felt something in his Achilles. Su’s been playing so well for us. It’s painful to see a guy like that – good character, great import, a perfect fit for us – go down. It kind of takes the wind a little bit from us.”

Later, Barangay Ginebra made it a rousing and emotional comeback gig for skipper LA Tenorio as it trounced Terrafirma, 110-99. Tenorio had two triples, one rebound, three assists and one steal in 25 minutes, drawing cheers in first appearance since overcoming his battle with colon cancer.