PBA: Meralco nears semis, pushes Ginebra to the brink
MANILA, Philippines—Meralco came out the gates hard and then kept it together until the final horn on Sunday for a 93-82 blowout of Barangay Ginebra to capture Game 1 of their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals series at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Aaron Black had 25 points while Chris Newsome added 19 more to star for the Bolts who enjoyed leads big as 21 points in the opener of this best-of-three duel.
“Everybody knows the history of Meralco and Ginebra. That’s definitely something that’s been in our heads and something that we wanted to overcome,” said Newsome who added nine rebounds and six assists to his name.
“They’re a championship team. And that’s what we want to be. To be a championship team, you gotta beat the best. And I think that’s what we’re here to do,” he added.
Scottie Thompson had 29 points and 10 rebounds, while Christian Standhardinger, Jeff Chan, and Japeth Aguilar all tossed in double-digit scores for the Gin Kings, one of the favorites in this centerpiece tournament.
Meralco seeks to win its first-ever playoff series against Barangay Ginebra, a perennial source of torment, this Friday at Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
MERALCO 93 – Black 25, Newsome 19, Maliksi 17, Hodge 10, Quinto 9, Almazan 5, Banchero 4, Pascual 4, Johnson 0, Hugnatan 0, Pasaol 0
GINEBRA 82 – Thompson 29, Standhardinger 12, Chan 11, J.Aguilar 10, Pinto 8, Pringle 6, Mariano 5, Onwubere 1, David 0, Tenorio 0
QUARTERS: 32-25, 53-43, 80-62, 93-82
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