MANILA, Philippines—Suleiman Braimoh Jr. was the leading man in Meralco’s close 107-102 victory over Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Philsports Arena on Wednesday.
Yet the Bolts’ newest resident import deflected the praises for his stellar outing, saying the victory was built from a team game that they played to a tee.
“As much as it was on me, it’s a team game. Today, hopefully, is the beginning of something we can build on. Everybody was chipping in and doing their parts and I’ll do my part not to let my teammates down,” said Braimoh after finishing with a monster double-double of 34 points and 14 rebounds.
“We’ll hold each other accountable, put our best foot forward for the same goal. Tomorrow, it might be someone else [scoring] but we’ll keep raking these wins.”
Along with Braimoh Jr.’s efforts on offense, he was also heavily active on defense, snagging two blocks and two steals.
He was also a pest on defense for his Elasto Painters counterpart Dajuan Summers.
Despite Summers finishing with 27 markers and nine boards, he struggled mightily from the field, sinking just eight of his 23 tries thanks to Braimoh Jr.’s efforts.
His efforts on the defensive end, coach Luigi Trillo said, was contagious for the other Bolts which helped them clamp down Rain or Shine even more.
“The thing with him is, he’s coachable and he’s a leader. You saw in the first half when he had a lot of effort to play defensively, it was contagious and everybody started doing it,” explained Trillo.
“The thing I’m most proud about with him was his defense and you saw how he was able to set the tone for us,” he added.
Helping the Meralco import on offense, meanwhile, was returning player Chris Newsome who finished with 20 points. Cliff Hodge also helped the Bolts snatch the victory with 10 markers and 11 boards.