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Blackwater beats Meralco with the help of Big Nambatac’s first game

Rey Nambatac scored 27 points and dished out 10 assists in his first game for Blackwater. The Bossing beat Meralco 96–93 on Wednesday at the Ynares Center to start the PBA Philippine Cup.

Nambatac kept the Bossing win with two free throws with 19.5 seconds left after the Bolts made a late comeback. It was a perfect end to an excellent debut for Nambatac, who was traded to the Bossing from Rain or Shine in the offseason.

Allein Maliksi, an experienced player for Meralco, went on a shooting spree and almost cost Blackwater a 19-point lead. They were able to hold on just in time. 

James Yap also played in his first game with Blackwater. He scored five points, three of which were from three-point range. 

Nambatac and Yap scored nine points in a row to give Blackwater an 86-67 lead. Maliksi then made four three-pointers to cut the Blackwater lead to 94-93. 

Coach Jeff Cariaso of Blackwater said, “We were able to keep it up just enough.” “That’s what you’d expect from a team with many years of experience. You count on them coming back every time. They’ve got the players, the knowledge, and the skills to handle that kind of thing. 

Troy Rosario scored 15 points, and Rey Suerte scored 11 for the Bossing. They ended a 10-game losing streak that went back to the Commissioner’s Cup when they won their first game in the conference but then lost all of their next games.

The Bolts got 27 points from Maliksi, who made 5 of 6 three-point shots. Chris Newsome scored 16 points for the team three days after playing for Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba Asia Cup 2025 qualifiers. 

These are the scores:

Nambatac scored 27 points, Rosario scored 15, Suerte scored 11, Hill scored 10, DiGregorio scored 9, David scored 7, Escoto scored 6, Guinto scored 5, Yap scored 5, Jopia scored 1, Ilagan scored 0, Kwekuteye scored 0, and Sena scored 0. 

Meralco scored 93 points, with Maliksi scoring 27 and Newsome scoring 16. Black scored 10, and Mendoza scored 10. Jose scored 10, and Hodge scored 6. Banchero scored 5, and Quinto scored 3. Torres scored 3, and Bates scored 3. Caram scored 0, and Pasaol scored 0. 

Quarters: 18-26; 43-41; 72-62; 96-93.

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