Bong Quinto of the Meralco Bolts at the PBA Philippine Cup. – PBA IMAGES

Meralco overcame its first-half struggles and a double-digit third-quarter deficit to overcome Terrafirma, 86-83, on Wednesday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Bong Quinto hit a hat-trick with two minutes left and the Bolts got a combination of crucial late breaks to extend their record to 3-3.

Quinto finished with 18 points, while Norbert Torres was among the key players in the fourth quarter as Meralco won back-to-back games after losing three of four to open the tournament.

READ: PBA: Clutch Bong Quinto leads Meralco to OT win over Rain or Shine

The Bolts also tied the Dyip, who were unable to match their best conference winning output under coach Johnedel Cardel.

“Terrafirma is playing very well,” said Cardel. “They are a promising team and we struggled against them, but we managed to eliminate them.”

Juami Tiongson and rookie Stephen Holt scored 20 points each, but Terrafirma squandered a chance to climb the standings heading into a crucial pair of games against Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer on Sunday and next Wednesday, both at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium .

READ: PBA: Bong Quinto shows leadership in Meralco's OT win over Rain or Shine

Playing for the first time in 16 days seemed to have affected the way Meralco played in the first two quarters, which Terrafirma took advantage of to take a 46-39 lead at halftime and a 54-43 lead early in the third.

But Meralco slowly retreated before advancing in the fourth after two treys from Torres, who finished with 15 points, to make it 76-71.

Holt's three-point play gave Terrafirma an 81-79 lead, but Quinto hit a corner triple to put Meralco ahead once again.

The scores:

MERALCO 86 — Quinto 18, Torres 15, Almazan 14, Black 7, Mendoza 7, Newsome 7, Banchero 6, Maliksi 6, Hodge 4, Pascual 2, José 0, Rios 0.

TERRAFIRM 83 — Tiongson 20, Holt 20, Gomez de Liano 11, Ramos 11, Sangalang 6, Go 4, Camson 4, Carino 4, Cahilig 3, Mine 0, Calvo 0, Alolino 0.


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ROOMS: 19-25, 39-46, 63-65, 86-83.



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