Bolts lose steam vs Jeremy Lin-led New Taipei Kings in EASL

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MANILA, Philippines — The Meralco Bolts ran out of ammunition in the second half and bowed to the unblemished New Taipei Kin gs, 89-77, in East Asia Super League (EASL) action Wednesday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

The Bolts led by just five, 47-42, at the half when Allein Maliksi’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer was waved off.

New Taipei then unl eashed 11 straight points capped by a tip-in by Kenny Manigault to take a 53-47 lead with 7:30 remaining in the third quarter.

Diego Dario ended the furious rally by the Kings with a 3-pointer as Meralco cut the lead to three, 50-53.

The newfound momentum by New Taipei was too much as the away team carried it to the final quarter.

The Bolts trailed by eight, 58-66, at the start of the final frame.

The lead grew to 15, 79-64, with a 3-pointer by Yang Chin-Min with exactly six minutes left.

Meralco cut the deficit to just eight, 83-75, with 2:27 remaining following a layup by Zach Lofton.

A Christian Anigwe put-back dunk sucked the air out of the Bolts’ lungs.

A pair of free throws by Jeremy Lin with a minute remaining brought the game out of reach, 87-75.

Five Kings finished in double figures in the dominant win.

Lin had a game-high 23 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for New Taipei.

Yang added 13 for the Kings, while Manigault chipped in 12.

Lin’s brother, Joseph, and Lee Kai-yan also finished in double-digits with 11 points each.

Lofton led the home squad with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Maliksi chipped in 12 markers.

New Taipei is now holding a 3-0 win-loss slate. Meralco dropped to 1-4.

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