Meralco eked out a 95-91 victory over San Miguel Beer at Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday to live another day in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup.
With the win, the Bolts battle Alaska for the right to advance to the quarterfinals.
Delroy James tallied 34 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists to assure the Bolts' fourth win in 11 games at the end of the preliminaries, tying Alaska and Phoenix in the team standings.
Phoenix was eliminated, though, because of a lower quotient.
Chris Newsome added 20 points for Meralco.
“It was a game we really needed,” said Meralco coach Norman Black. “We really needed it very badly just to stay alive . . . A lot of the guys stepped up for us.”
The loss sent San Miguel tumbling to 5-6.
If Magnolia loses in the second game Wednesday, the Beermen will be relegated to seventh and will play NorthPort in a last-8 matchup in which the Batang Pier have a twice-to-beat advantage.
Chris McCollough led the Beermen with 27 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 blocks, while June Mar Fajardo chipped in 27 points and 13 rebounds.
Meralco 95 - James 34, Newsome 20, Almazan 15, Faundo 10, Amer 8, Jackson 3, Quinto 3, Hodge 2, Salva 0, De Ocampo 0.
San Miguel 91 - McCullough 27, Fajardo 27, Romeo 11, Standhardinger 9, Santos 6, Lassiter 3, Nabing 3, Pessumal 3, Ross 2, Rosser 0.
Quarterscores: 22-21, 42-42, 74-70, 95-91.
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