Meralco ousts Ginebra, advances to PBA finals

Posted by watchmen
June 3, 2024
Posted in SPORTS
Meralco Bolts’ Chris Banchero scores a one-hander against the defense of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings’ Nard John Pinto. (PBA photo)
Meralco Bolts’ Chris Banchero scores a one-hander against the defense of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings’ Nard John Pinto. (PBA photo)


The Meralco Bolts overcame a slow start to defeat the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings, 78-69, in the do-or-die Game 7 of the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup at the FPJ Arena in San Jose City, Batangas on Friday night, May 31.

Chris Banchero caught fire offensively with 24 points, including four three-point connections, to go with six rebounds and an assist as the Bolts clinched the best-of-seven series, 4-3.

Chris Newsome added 20 markers and six rebounds, Kier John Quinto chipped in 10 markers, while rookie Brandon Bates and Raymond Almazan made their contributions to rebounds with 13 and 10, respectively.

After being down 17-28 early in the second quarter, the Bolts turned things around behind consecutive conversions from Banchero and Newsome to establish a 36-31 lead at the half.

The Bolts continued their tight defense in the second half while also managing to increase their behind connections from Clifford Hodge, Allein Maliksi and Newsome for a 62-51 upperhand.

With the Gin Kings unable to convert their shots, the Bolts went to break the game wide open, establishing their largest lead at 74-58 on back-to-back connections from Quinto and Banchero.

The Bolts, which are entering the Philippine Cup finals for the first time in franchise history, will face the defending champion San Miguel Beermen in a best-of-seven finals beginning on Wednesday, June 5.

“This is big for the franchise. We’ve been to finals in other conferences with imports, but this is the first time na [nasa finals kami] ng All-Filipino,” Bolts head coach Luigi Trillo said.

“I just wanna give credit where credit is due. I know the players are getting credits all the time, but the guy in-charge of our basketball program, coach Nenad [Vucinic], he is the captain of our ship, and he brings the best out of our players,” he added.

Earl Scottie Thompson finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to lead the Gin Kings, while Christian Standhardinger and Stanley Pringle added 16 and 13 markers, respectively./ASC, WDJ

MERALCO 78 — Banchero 24, Newsome 20, Quinto 10, Hodge 8, Bates 6, Almazan 3, Caram 3, Maliksi 2, Pascual 2, Mendoza 0.

GINEBRA 69 — Thompson 20, Standhardinger 16, Pringle 13, J. Aguilar 8, Pinto 5, Ahanmisi 4, Cu 3, Tenorio 0.

Quarterscores: 15-20, 36-31, 62-51, 78-69.

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