Meralco banks on Zach Lofton’s 54-point performance to crush NorthPort

Zach Lofton went beast mode against NorthPort (PBA)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

What a debut for Zach Lofton.

Deployed as a replacement import for the injured Su Braimoh, the flashy guard didn’t need any strict warmups to impress the Meralco Bolts in his first game in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Lofton immediately buckled to work and only meant business in his debut game after dropping 54 points to help Meralco demolish the NorthPort Batang Pier, 125-99, last December 10, 2023, held at the Philsports Arena.

The former NBA player shot an efficient 17/29 from the field built from a 9/19 shooting from the three-point territory.

Lofton was Meralco’s secondary import in the ongoing East Asia Super League (EASL) and is widely recognized as one of the deadliest scorers in the pool of foreign reinforcements.

During his debut for Meralco, the spitfire guard was automatic from the shooting field and embarrassed every defender thrown at him.

Lofton went crazy in the third quarter and scored 20 points alone that turned the tables for Meralco, helping them take full control of the game from a narrow 49-48 lead.

From a one-point advantage, Lofton’s stellar scoring display ballooned Meralco’s cushion to 28 points, 92-64.

From there, the Batang Pier squad failed to recover and didn’t match Meralco’s intensity on both ends of the floor.

Backstopping Lofton the returning Allein Maliksi who finished the ball game with 18 big points built from an impressive 7/10 shooting from the field.

Chris Newsome and Raymond Almazan also stepped up for the Bolts, combining for 22 markers and 17 big rebounds.

Their win against the Batang Pier stretched its winning streak to three straight games and will look to add more when they square off against the Converge FiberXers on December 17, 2023.