PBA: Ginebra dominates Meralco in semis opener
MANILA, Philippines — Barangay Ginebra got off to a fast start, crushing Meralco, 96-79, for a 1-0 series lead in the five-game semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday night at Angeles University Foundation.
From a slim 34-32 lead early in the second quarter, the Gin Kings pushed the tempo and went on a 14-4 run to close the period with LA Tenorio’s triple putting them head, 48-36, with 59 seconds left in the half.
Ginebra’s lead was never in peril as the Bolts never brought the deficit to single digits.
Despite the comfortable win, Ginebra head coach Tim Cone wasn’t too keen on celebrating as he and his team had a similar scenario back in the 2019 Philippine Cup when they took Game 1 against eventual runner-up Magnolia before losing the next two games of the three-game duel.
“The only thing I’m thinking about is I remember we went to the Magnolia series a year or two ago, and we were favored in the at series, winning Game 1,” said Cone. “Then Magnolia swept us and they faced San Miguel for the championship.”
“That’s fresh in my mind, in our collective mind. This game is nice to get but we’ve been in this place before.”
Ginebra had six players score in double digits with Stanley Pringle leading the bunch with 19 points and seven rebounds while Scottie Thompson just missed out on a triple-double with 13 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.
Allein Maliksi carried the Bolts with 24 points on 7-of-10 shooting as starters Baser Amer and Bong Quinto went a collective 2-of-19 from the field for four points.
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