ANTIPOLO - Anjo Caram came up big as the Meralco Bolts zapped the NorthPort Batang Pier, 103-89, in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup on Sunday at the Ynares Center here.
With starting point guard Baser Amer still far from full strength, Caram stood out and was deadly from the perimeter, hitting jumpers from almost all angles, none bigger than the three-pointer with 4:20 remaining to extinguish a NorthPort rally.
The former San Beda playmaker would hit another triple three minutes later to put the finishing touches to the victory that allowed the Bolts to hike their record to 8-2 and secure the twice-to-beat incentive in the playoffs.
He finished with career-high 30 points built on four three-pointers. He also had four steals and two rebounds in nearly 30 minutes of play.
"Anjo Caram was just awesome tonight and gave us a big lift and pretty much guided us to victory," said Meralco head coach Norman Black. "I give him a lot credit leading the team. He knew that Baser wasn't a hundred percent."
His stellar outing overshadowed another monster game from import Allen Durham, who posted 26 points and 19 rebounds. Chris Newsome added 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Meanwhile, NorthPort suffered its sixth loss in nine games, but remained in the hunt for a quarterfinal berth.
High-scoring import Michael Qualls put up a double double with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Christian Standhardinger had 20 points and nine boards before getting the boot, while Sean Anthony chimed in 19 points on five triples.
Meralco 103 - Caram 30, Durham 26, Newsome 17, Pinto 8, Almazan 8, Maliksi 6, Faundo 4, Amer 2, Hugnatan 2, Jackson 0, Jose 0, Hodge 0, Quinto 0, jamito 0.
NorthPort 89 - Qualls 27, Standhardinger 20, Anthony 19, Mercado 9, Lanete 8, Taha 3, Ferrer 3, Elorde 0, Cruz 0, King 0, Escoto 0.
Quarterscores: 20-23, 50-45, 72-69, 103-89
- Christian Standhardinger was tossed with still 4:18 remaining in the fourth period after incurring a second technical foul. He was called a second technical after approaching the technical officials table.
- Baser Amer, who suffered a groin injury and sat out the team's previous game against Columbian Dyip, returned Sunday but was limited to just two points in 18 minutes.
Meralco - vs Rain or Shine on November 17 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum
NorthPort - vs NLEX on November 13 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum