Ginebra stops Meralco for 2-1 series lead
MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra took the early control and never let it go to come away with a 91-84 Game 3 win over Meralco to take a 2-1 series lead in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals Sunday at Angeles University Foundation.
The Gin Kings practically had the game in their hands as they held the lead for exactly 45:49 and the only time Meralco held advantage was the 27-second period in the first quarter when the Bolts were up 5-4 from the 8:12 mark of the first quarter until 7:45 when Japeth Aguilar converted a jumper.
Little did the Bolts know, that jump shot started an intoxicating 22-0 run that Stanley Pringle capped off with a jumper with 2:43 left in the period to put Ginebra up 22-5.
Though Meralco tried to get into the game late in the game, Pringle was up to the task of closing things out for the Gin Kings putting up nine points in the final quarter and going an efficient 4-of-5 shooting from the field.
Ginebra head coach Tim Cone said Pringle will always be the team’s closer despite the other team’s knowledge of that scheme.
“He was really dead tired down the stretch but he knows he’s our finisher,” said Cone. “Teams know it but teams just can’t seem to find an answer for him.”
“If I can play him the whole 48 minutes I would but he’s human and he’s gotta get his rest.”
Pringle would finish with 24 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists while Prince Caperal added 15 points and six boards.
Aguilar anchored Ginebra’s paint with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks.
Allein Maliksi put up 23 points, on 6-of-10 shooting from deep, to lead the Bolts.
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