Sustaining the momentum of their blazing finish in Game One, the Meralco Bolts overwhelmed the Star Hotshots right at the get-go and never let up on the way to a 98-74 win and a commanding two-games-to-nil lead in their PBA Governors Cup best-of-five semi-final showdown at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Sta. Rosa, Laguna last night.
The Bolts played up to their billing as the playoff top seeds and thus moved in the threshold of a return stint in the titular playoff of the season-ending tourney.
They take their first of three cracks at the finals in Game Three set tomorrow at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots were determined to avenge their 66-72 loss Sunday but suffered a big blow early in the contest as Paul Lee went down with his old knee injury.
Lee was helpless on the bench as the Bolts quickly pulled away, storming to a 30-11 in the opening quarter and staying in full control all throughout the contest.
Rotating the ball well and taking high-percentage shots, the Bolts took the half at 53-32 on a 21-of-34 shooting as against the Hotshots' measly 13-of-43 clip.
And it became a full-blown rout as Jared Dillinger rifled in a trey then Allen Durham scored on a thunderous slam to start the second half.
Relying largely on defensive stops the last time, the Bolts punished the Hotshots on both ends this time.
There's Dillinger who nearly beat out the entire Star team in three-point shooting. The 6-foot-4 Meralco forward knocked in six as against the Hotshots' seven.
Durham came through with a routine double-double game with 18 points and 25 rebounds that went with five assists and three blocks as he outclassed Kris Acox yet again.
Dillinger also finished with 18 points - the same output made by Ranidel de Ocampo in his best game in a Meralco uniform.
Baser Amer contributed three triples and finished with solid all-around numbers of 16 points, eight assists, three rebounds and one steal.
With their sluggish start in Game One in their mind, the Bolts jumped the gun on the Hotshots this time.*pba.com
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