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Arwind Santos bailed Petron out of trouble, nailing the game-winning basket in the Blaze Boosters' thrilling 76-75 win over Meralco Saturday night in Naga City. 

Santos had a game-high 23 points, none more important than the one he made in the final 58.6 seconds that sealed the deal for the Blaze Boosters. 

The Bolts, who rallied back from a 64-53 third-quarter deficit, botched their final field goal attempt and their chance of wining the game as Mark Cardona misfired his shot in the waning seconds of the tightly-fought contest.
The Boosters improved to an 8-3 (win-loss) record and claimed solo second in the PBA Philippine Cup. Santos added 11 rebounds to his offensive production.

Alex Cabagnot had 13 points and Lordy Tugade, slowly getting back in top shape, added 10 also for the reigning Governors Cup champion Petron.

Cardona fired 18 points in pacing Meralco, now at 7-5.The Bolts almost pulled this one off. Cardona had six points while Mercado and Asi Taulava combined for seven markers as the Bolts outscored the Boosters, 13-2, to tie the game at 66-all midway in the final quarter.

The Bolts then held on for a 75-74 lead in the final two-minute mark on Taulava's split free throws, before Santos answered with his game-wining basket for the Boosters. — JVP, GMA 


Petron 76--Santos 23, Cabagnot 13, Tugade 10, Yeo 9, Ildefonson 8, Miranda 6, Reyes 5, Baclao 2, Agustin 0.

Meralco 75--Cardona 18, Lanete 14, Mercado 11, Asi 7, Espinas 6, Macapagal 5, Borboran 4, Omolon 4, Isip 4, Hugnatan 2, Yee 0, Timberlake 0, Faundo 0.

Quarter scores: 23-19; 43-38; 64-53; 76-75.


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