Onuaku still finished with game-highs of 30 points and 19 rebounds in leading the Bolts’ charge to a 116-103 victory over Columbian Dyip in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“My hat is off to Arinze because he’s been sick. He’s been in the hospital the last few days. He hasn’t practiced and he basically came from the hospital to here,” related Meralco coach Norman Black.
“I’m sure he’s not only feeling bad but he’s also tired. So I’m very happy with his performance tonight, mainly because he gives us exactly what we need as a team. He takes care of the rebounds for us as well as the low post plays. I think my local players played a lot better with a strong center in the middle.”
Indeed, the likes of Chris Newsome, Nico Salva, KG Canaleta and Jared Dillinger also played big, as the Bolts overcame an early 10-point deficit, took full control in the closing minutes of the third period and even posted as much as a 112-98 spread.
As a result, Meralco foiled Columbian’s bid to follow up its 126-98 win over Blackwater on opening day last Sunday.
After scoring just nine points against the Elite, CJ Aiken wound up with 21 points on top of 18 rebounds.