Bolts force Game 7 with Kings, vow to change script this time

Bolts force Game 7 with Kings, vow to change script this time

Meralco Bolts' Bong Quinto during the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals game against Ginebra Gin Kings

Meralco Bolts’ Bong Quinto during the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals game against Ginebra Gin Kings. –PBA IMAGES

Meralco made everyone in the PBA arrange their travel plans after derailing Barangay Ginebra’s march to the Philippine Cup Finals.

And with the semifinal series going to the limit and the deciding seventh game set on Friday in San Jose, Batangas, coach Luigi Trillo expressed his team’s desire to turn the page and get a rare playoff triumph over their longtime tormentors.

“Sana kami naman (we hope that we prevail this time),” Trillo said after Wednesday’s tightly fought 86-81 win at Smart Araneta Coliseum.


The Bolts look to take down the Gin Kings again at 7:30 p.m. at FPJ Arena and arrange a championship showdown with the juggernaut that is San Miguel Beer.

Game 1 of the Finals will start on Wednesday at the Big Dome. The Beermen have been playing the waiting game since sweeping the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters last week.

Though it defeated Ginebra in the previous playoff showdown, albeit a best-of-three quarterfinals of the 2022 Philippine Cup, Meralco has lost to Ginebra the previous six times.

The list includes a pair of sudden deaths in the 2017 Governors’ Cup Finals at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, and the 2020 Philippine Cup semis in Angeles City, Pampanga, when the league was in a bubble due to the pandemic.


“We’ve been there for a while, but normally we’re on the receiving end,” said Trillo. “Pagalingan na ‘to (the better team will win Game 7).”

Refused to crack

Bong Quinto put up 23 points and Chris Newsome had 21, with Allein Maliksi making a number of timely shots in the fourth quarter that helped Meralco separate itself from Ginebra.


Maliksi scored 12 of his 14 points in the payoff period behind his outside shooting and a pair of three-point plays.

Ginebra got 19 points each from Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger, but its first shot at closing out the series fell short.

The Bolts didn’t crack after losing an 11-point lead at the start and seeing the Gin Kings go up by seven in the second period.

The low-scoring affair may have benefited Meralco, before its offense opened up entering the fourth with a slim 54-53 lead.

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Quinto and Maliksi combined to make shots while Newsome, Raymond Almazan and Cliff Hodge made sure they would do well on both ends to keep the Bolts alive for one more game, and hopefully change their fortunes against the league’s most popular team.

TAGS: Barangay Ginebra, Meralco Bolts, PBA Philippine Cup

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