MANILA, Philippines—Minus its main men, Meralco held off a gutsy Shopinas.com side, 79-72, Wednesday in the 37th PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts, who missed the services of Mac Cardona and Sol Mercado due to injuries, drew 16 points and nine rebounds from Gabby Espinas.
Mark Macapagal added 14 markers for Meralco, which evened its win-loss mark to 1-1.
“We just found enough strength to win,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.
And that strength was also fittingly displayed by veteran big man Asi Taulava.
Taulava banged his way against JR Sena before hitting a jumper at the low block that gave the Bolts a 77-72 lead with only 25.4 ticks left.
Paolo Hubalde led the Clickers, who dropped to 0-2, with 21 points.