Meralco ends San Miguel dynasty, moves on to semis vs Ginebra
MANILA, Philippines — Meralco succeeded in its revolt and brought down the five-year San Miguel dynasty with a masterful 90-68 victory in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals Sunday at Angeles University Foundation.
The Bolts are now in their first-ever semifinals appearance in the All-Filipino Conference and will face their championship bane in Barangay Ginebra, a club that had already beaten them thrice in the Governors’ Cup Finals in the last four years.
Turning up the ante from the start, Meralco built a sizable 10-point lead, 21-11, at the end of the first and was quick to dispel any retaliation from the defending champions.
Marcio Lassiter tried to bring the Beermen closer in the third hitting a couple of three-pointers at the start of the quarter to trim the deficit to six, 43-37, but the Bolts were ready for any comeback.
Meralco answered with a 9-2 run that Baser Amer capped off with a triple that gave the Bolts a 53-39 lead with 8:05 to play in the third.
Allein Maliksi then capped off another scoring surge for the Bolts, this time a 16-0 run for a 69-43 lead with 2:56 left in the period.
“It feels great beating them not only because they’re San Miguel but because we’re in the semifinals,” said Bolts head coach Norman Black. “They’re also great because they won five straight championships but I’m happy to be here.”
Cliff Hodge and Amer had 14 points apiece to lead the Bolts while grabbing a combined 13 rebounds.
Reynel Hugnatan had a near double-double of 12 points and eight boards while Maliksi added 11 points.
Moala Tautuaa and Lassiter put up 20 points each for the Beermen.
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