Meralco eliminates Ginebra to set up PBA Finals vs San Miguel

Meralco eliminates Ginebra to set up PBA Finals duel vs San Miguel

/ 10:27 PM May 31, 2024

Chris Banchero lifts Meralco Bolts past Ginebra Gin Kings in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals Game 7

Chris Banchero lifts Meralco Bolts past Ginebra Gin Kings in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals Game 7. –PBA IMAGES

SAN JOSE, Batangas — Meralco smoothened the gaps in its game early and then buried Barangay Ginebra to double-digit holes the rest of the way for a 78-69 victory and the right to challenge defending champion PBA Philippine Cup champion San Miguel in the Finals.

Chris Banchero fired 24 points to lead all of the Bolts and help the club dispose of their perennial tormentors at the Fernando Poe Jr. Arena here.

“This (series) could have gone either way. But a lot of belief resilience and in this team, especially after going down 3-2.,” said head coach Luigi Trillo, whose charges conquered the crowd darlings in seven games in the semifinals.


READ: ‘Sana kami naman’: Meralco hopes to change the script vs Ginebra

Chris Newsome chipped in 20 more, including a pair of layups in the final three minutes  that put that kept the game beyond reach.

Bong Quinto added 10 more for Meralco, which also found an unlikely hero in rookie Brandon Bates, who finished with six points and 13 rebounds while helping limit Ginebra’s fearsome twin towers Christian Standhardinger and Japeth Aguilar.

Former PBA Most Valuable Player Scottie Thompson had 20 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists, while Standhardinger and Aguilar finished with 16 and eight points, respectively.

Stanley Pringle had 13 points for Ginebra, which missed a second-straight conference Finals after making two during the 2022 season.


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The Bolts enjoyed leads as many as 16 points.

Meralco will have the daunting task of trying to solve the mighty San Miguel squad that has lost only twice in this edition of the PBA’s crown jewel showcase.

Fortunately, the Beermen’s other loss this tournament was at the hands of Trillo and company, 95-92, in a road game also held in Batangas earlier this May.

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The two sides, which belong to the two ruling power blocs Manny V. Panglininan group and San Miguel Corp., battle it out in a grueling seven-game series that gets going Wednesday next week at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The Beermen, however, will have the benefit of a long rest having finished their semifinal series against Rain or Shine through a four-game sweep that ended on May 24.

TAGS: Meralco Bolts

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