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Bolts falter against Mono Vampire in FIBA opener

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The Meralco Bolts failed to claim the victory in their first game against Mono Vampire Basketball Club, 92-100, in the 2018 FIBA Asia Champions Cup in Thailand.

Tied at 70 to start the final period, Marcus Keene torched eight unanswered points for the Mono Vampires, 70-78. He would also bury a triple to give his team the biggest lead of the game with 3:44 left, 82-92.

Meralco tried to cut the lead by 3 with a 7-0 run, 89-92, but Keene and Michael Singletary scored back-to-back jumpers, as they took the win in their home court.

The Philippine-based franchise suited without the presence of Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge due to their ineligible status, while Ranidel De Ocampo and Jared Dilinger are yet to recover from their respective injuries.

Replacement Diamond Stone powered Meralco with 23 points, while Allen Durham bulked up 20 markers and 19 rebounds. Baser Amer led the locals with 18 points.

Keene had game-high 29 points and 8 assists, while Singletary gobbled up 25 markers and 14 rebounds.

Meralco will try to bounce back against Alvark Tokyo of Japan this Friday.