Meralco Bolts-Pilipinas fell to Alvark Tokyo, 84-73, dropping their second game in a row in the 2018 FIBA Asia Champions Cup.
One day after getting outscored by 20 inside points by Mono Vampire, the Bolts overcame their size disadvantage against the Alvark bigs to notch 40 points in the paint.
However, the reigning Japan B.League Champions proved have more ammunition than the undermanned Filipino team, who were missing the services of key cogs Jared Dillinger and Ranidel de Ocampo to injuries, and Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge to tournament ineligibility.
The Bolts’ Baser Amer were able to tie the game at 60-apiece at the 8:19 mark in the final quarter, but the Japanese side never let them any closer, dashing their hopes of a late comeback by pouring on 24 straight points from thereon.
Meralco falls into limbo after going winless in two games at the Asian club championship. Even if they manage to win against the defending champions Sporting Al Riyadi, they will need Mono Vampire to also lose to Alvark and hope the quotient goes in their favor just to stay alive.
Alvark’s import Alex Kirk finished with 23 points and 11 boards while shooting an impressive 80 percent from the field. Japanese national team gunner Daiki Tanaka put in 17 points, seven assists, and five rebounds, while rising star Genki Kojima added 12 in the win.
Allen Durham led the Bolts with 31 points and 12 rebounds, while fellow Diamond Louis Stone had 28 points and eight boards before fouling out of the game. No local player reached double figures in scoring.
The Meralco Bolts will try to salvage a win in their final group stage game against the defending FIBA Asia Champions Cup titlists Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut tomorrow at 20:30 (+7 GMT) at the Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand.
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