Meralco Bolts-Pilipinas will settle for fourth place after falling against the Seoul SK Knights in a close contest, 91-87, at the bronze medal match of the 2018 FIBA Asia Champions Cup.
One day after losing to powerhouse squad Petrochimi of Iran, the Filipinos dropped another close one after keeping in in step against the South Korean side who played with only one import.
The Bolts took the lead midway in the third quarter and were actually able to enter the final frame with a slim advantage, but the hot-shooting Knights got ahead after back-to-back threes by Choi Wonhyuk and never gave it back.
SK Knights’ DaJuan Summers led the Seoul-based club to win third place in the tournament with 26 points, seven rebounds, and four assists while battling foul trouble. Four Korean locals finished in double-figures as An Youngjun, Choi Wonhyuk, Lee Hyeonseok, and Kim Minsoo combined for 55 points in the win.
Meanwhile, Meralco’s replacement import Diamond Louis Stone broke out for 32 points and 13 rebounds to lead all scorers in the game. Despite his slow start, Allen Durham finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, while locals Nino Cañaleta and Baser Amer had 15 and 12 points, respectively.
The Meralco Bolts will return to Manila as they resume their Governor’s Cup campaign in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
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