Meralco topples TNT, faces Ginebra in PBA finals anew
ANTIPOLO —Meralco pounced on its enemy’s shooting woes in the third period to wrest control the rest of the way and beat TNT, 89-78, for the last finals slot in the 2019 Governors’ Cup Monday at Ynares Center here.
Bong Quinto was at the forefront of that blistering turnaround, hitting tough shot after tough shot to preserve Allen Durham’s game-long brilliance as the Bolts forged a finals rematch against Barangay Ginebra next month.
“I feel like we really had everything thrown at us. But everybody was focused … to get back to the championship round again,” said Meralco coach Norman Black, who also drew, twin digit scores from Chris Newsome, who added to the lead as the contest plodded along.
Durham had a team-best 28 points for Meralco, while Newsome had 23 to pace the locals. Quinto tossed in 19 in the effort, the finest scoring performance of his young PBA career.
The KaTropa got the goods from KJ McDaniels, who fired 30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Rookie Ray Parks Jr. had 15, though on an atrocious clip while double-digit scores from Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, and Roger Pogoy which most came a little too late.
The best-of-seven title showdown between Meralco and Barangay Ginebra begins on Jan. 8. It marks the third time in the last four years that the two rivals will meet in the finals.