PBA Finals: Meralco clamps down on San Miguel to take Game 1

PBA Finals: Meralco clamps down on San Miguel to take Game 1

/ 11:10 PM June 05, 2024

SCHEDULE: PBA Finals San Miguel vs Meralco

Meralco Bolts' Chris Banchero tries to slip past San Miguel's CJ Perez in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals Game 1.

Meralco Bolts’ Chris Banchero tries to slip past San Miguel’s CJ Perez in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals Game 1. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Defense was Meralco’s calling card in repeating over San Miguel Beer, 93-86, Wednesday to set the tone in the best-of-seven series for the championship of the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Chris Banchero and Chris Newsome topscored with 18 points apiece, but there were plenty of heroes for the Bolts, who after a seesaw battle eventually pulled away from the Beermen in the fourth quarter.

Multiple stops create several opportunities on offense, even as second chances were plenty for Meralco even when shots weren’t falling.


READ: PBA Finals favorite San Miguel wary of rust vs title-hungry Meralco

Rookie Brandon Bates and veteran Raymond Almazan also combined in doing most of the damage on June Mar Fajardo, who had to work for his numbers.

The Bolts hope to replicate what they’ve done in Game 2 slated Friday at the Big Dome. But in the previous two times they’ve won Game 1, the Bolts went on to lose the championship.

It’s back to the drawing board for San Miguel, which lost to Meralco for the second straight time in the all-Filipino tournament, dropping the final game of the eliminations last May 4 in Batangas City.


Fajardo had 23 points and 10 rebounds, but spent most of the game trying to outsmart the Bolts frontline.


Bong Quinto and Allein Maliksi scored 15 points each, Cliff Hodge grabbed 15 rebounds and Bates blocked four shots for Meralco.

San Miguel entered the fourth ahead 72-70, but Meralco inched its way to retake the lead before creating more separation going down the stretch.

PBA scores:

MERALCO 93—Newsome 18, Banchero 18, Quinto 15, Maliksi 15, Caram 9, Almazan 8, Hodge 7, Bates 2, Pascual 1, Torres 0, Pasaol 0, Jose 0, Dario 0.

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SAN MIGUEL 86—Fajardo 23, Perez 20, Lassiter 16, Trollano 9, Tautuaa 5, Cruz 5, Teng 4, Brondial 4, Ross 0, Enciso 0.

Quarters: 19-20, 44-51, 70-72, 93-86.

TAGS: Meralco Bolts, San Miguel Beermen

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