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The Philippine Meralco team lost 81-87 to the Libyan Al Ahly team, failing to come back from a 26-point deficit and losing all three of its group games.

The Bolts trailed big, 43-69 early in the second half but showed unwavering resolve as they cut the lead down to single digit late before only running out of time.

Bong Quinto paced the Filipinos with 15 points built on three triples while Chris Banchero added 14.

Feron Hunt ended up with 14 points and seven rebounds while fellow import Uko Lukovic added eight points and 14 rebounds

Philippines’ Meralco loses to Libya’s Al Ahly, out of group stage

The Filipinos were actually a couple of big shots away from putting much of the pressure on the Libyans and completing the comeback after they closed the gap to six, 79-85, with 57 seconds left after a last-ditch 13-3 spurt.

Meralco pulled off a stop on the defensive end, forcing Al Ahly to a 24-second violation, giving the Filipinos a chance to inch closer.

The Bolts, however, wasted precious seconds in the ensuing possession with Banchero and Quinto missing their triple attempts before Aaron Black scored on a layup to come within four, 81-85, with only 12 ticks left.

The Libyans, however, displayed poise and held on as Debate Sulaiman iced the game with two free throws.

Suleiman contributed 18 points and nine assists to lead Ahli to victory, and was ably supported by his teammates, with five in double figures.

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