By Adrian Stewart Co
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings is one win away from barging to the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup finals after a 91-84 triumph over Meralco Bolts in Game 3 of the semifinals on Sunday night at the AUF Sports Arena & Cultural Center in Pampanga.
Stanley Pringle tallied 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists and Prince Caperal chipped in 14 markers, including three triples, as the Kings surged to a 2-1 edge in the best-of-five series.
Japeth Aguilar added double-double 12 points and 13 rebounds to go along with four blocks, while LA Tenorio and Negrense Joe Devance supplied 12 and 10 markers, respectively, for Barangay Ginebra.
The Kings zoomed to a 37-12 start with three-point conversions from Pringle and Caperal and inside hits by Aguilar. The Bolts, however, clawed its way to within 34-45 at the half.
The Kings widened the lead to 56-40 early in the third period with baskets from Tenorio and Devance but the Bolts closed the gap to 51-58 before Ginebra increased it to 64-52 on a Caperal triple.
Conversions from Tenorio and Earl Scottie Thompson allowed Ginebra’s lead to swell to 71-56 in the fourth period before Meralco attempted several runs but could only come to as close as seven.
Allein Maliksi finished with 23 points, including six triples, Raymond Almazan added 16 points and nine rebounds as Clifford Hodge and Chris Newsome ended with 13 and 12, respectively, for the Bolts.
GINEBRA 91 – Pringle 24, Caperal 15, J. Aguilar 12, Tenorio 12, Devance 10, Thompson 9, Mariano 5, Tolentino 4.
MERALCO 84 – Maliksi 23, Almazan 16, Hodge 13, Newsome 12, Amer 9, Quinto 6, Black 3, Hugnatan 2, Pinto 0, Faundo 0, Jamito 0, Salva 0.
Quarterscores: 27-12, 45-34, 64-52, 91-84./ASC, WDJ