PBA: Braimoh powers Meralco past Rain or Shine to open campaign

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Meralco import Suleiman Braimoh.

Meralco import Suleiman Braimoh. –PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines–Meralco got a big performance from import Suleiman Braimoh to overcome Rain or Shine, 107-102, for a winning start to its campaign in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Braimoh finished with 34 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks behind his activity on both ends as the Bolts prevailed despite having to fight off the Elasto Painters fightback in the second half.

Chris Newsome, coming off a gold medal for Gilas Pilipinas in the Hangzhou Asian Games, had 20 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals despite having little time with the team during the seven-month offseason to also key Meralco’s triumph.

Luigi Trillo won in his first official game as coach since Meralco management rejigged the staff in the offseason.

And he and the Bolts are banking on players like Braimoh to deliver the goods after reaching the semis in six of the last seven conferences.

Rain or Shine, on the other hand, dropped its opening assignment despite pulling to within two in the fourth quarter.

Import Dajuan Summers had 27 points but shot 8-of-23 from the field in his PBA debut while rookie Keith Datu scored 16 in his first-ever game.

A three-pointer by Santi Santillan got the Elasto Painters behind 107-105, but Braimoh answered with a three of his own to keep the Bolts in command.

The scores:

MERALCO 107 – Braimoh 34, Newsome 20, Maliksi 16, Hodge 10, Dario 8, Almazan 6, Torres 5, Caram 3, Quinto 3, Black 2, Pasaol 0, Rios 0, Pascual 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 102 – Summers 27, Santillan 16, Datu 16, Caracut 15, Clarito 13, Nambatac 7, Mamuyac 4, Belga 2, Norwood 1, Demusis 1, Asistio 0 , Belo 0.



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Quarters: 39-30, 63-50, 77-70, 107-102.

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