MERALCO took the cue from sister teams TNT and Cavitex in the PBA 3×3 Season 2 and carved out its own moment of triumph in yesterday’s Leg 3 at Robinsons Las Piñas.
On the heels of the triumphs of the Tropang Giga in Leg 1 and the Braves in Leg 2, the Bolts turned in an electric performance capped by a 19-14 finals clincher over guest team J&T Express to follow suit as leg champs.
Alfred Batino banged in nine points on a 7-of-10 field goal to go with five rebounds and two blocks and served as a difference-maker in the battle for the top plum and P100,000.
Leo de Vera backstopped Mr. Batino with six, including a two-ball that gave Meralco an 18-13 cushion, while Reymar Caduyac and Tonino Gonzaga shot three and one, respectively, in handing Meralco its first leg win since Leg 2 of the previous season’s Third Conference.
Overall, the Bolts now have four leg victories in the stand-alone league.
It was the best finish so far for league newcomer J&T, which placed fourth and fifth in the first two legs. The quartet of Robin Rono, Keith Datu, Jeric Teng and Joseph Sedurifa, a former Meralco stalwart, earned P50,000.
Meralco booked a finals ticket at the expense of TNT, 16-15, while J&T took Cavitex out of the title picture, 21-13.
The Braves crew of Jorey Napoles, Tzaddy Rangel, Dominick Fajardo and Bong Galanza grabbed third place worth P30,000 after beating TNT, 21-13, and netted P30,000. — Olmin Leyba