July 13, 2024

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Meralco Bolts hand Barangay Ginebra’s first loss in 48th PBA Philippine Cup

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BOUNCEBACK WIN. The Meralco Bolts secure a bounceback 91-73 romp, handing Barangay Ginebra its first win after two straight wins in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night, March 15, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. PBA PHOTO

The once-unbeatable Barangay Ginebra faced a tough challenge while the struggling Meralco found its rhythm, resulting in a stunning 91-73 victory for the Bolts over the Gin Kings in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday, March 15, 2024.

Allein Maliksi led the charge for Meralco, pouring in 25 points with an impressive 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. His electric performance helped Meralco snap a two-game losing streak and climb to a 2-3 win-loss record before the league’s All-Star and Holy Week break.

The dominant win by the Bolts caused a major shakeup in the standings. Ginebra, previously undefeated and leading the pack at 2-1, now found themselves tied for fifth place with TNT while defending champions San Miguel Beer claimed the top spot with a 1-0 record. NLEX (4-1), Blackwater (3-1), and NorthPort (3-1) stood ahead of both Ginebra and TNT.

Determined to bounce back from recent defeats against NLEX and NorthPort, Meralco returned to their defensive roots, stifling Ginebra’s offense from the start. 

Under coach Luigi Trillo’s guidance, the Bolts limited Ginebra to just 14 points in the first quarter and extended their lead to nine points. By halftime, Meralco had widened the gap to 19 points, holding Ginebra to a mere 13 points in the second quarter.

The Bolts continued their relentless performance in the third quarter, extending their lead to a commanding 31 points at one stage before settling for an 18-point victory margin.

Chris Newsome contributed 19 points, six rebounds, and four assists, while Aaron Black added 12 points, seven rebounds, and three assists for the Bolts. Their solid defensive effort, highlighted by 10 steals and forcing Ginebra into 19 turnovers, proved crucial in securing the victory.

Coach Trillo praised the team’s resilience and maturity despite their slow start to the season, citing Maliksi’s leadership and the collective effort of the entire squad.

For Ginebra, Maverick Ahanmisi, Japeth Aguilar, and Christian Standhardinger led the scoring with 14, 13, and 13 points, respectively. However, Ginebra sorely missed the presence of star playmaker Scottie Thompson, who remained sidelined due to a back injury for the third consecutive game.

The boxscores:

Meralco 91 – Maliksi 25, Newsome 19, Black 12, Mendoza 8, Banchero 5, Hodge 4, Quinto 4, Pasaol 4, Almazan 3, Caram 2, Rios 2, Pascual 2, Dario 1, Torres 0.

Ginebra 73 – Ahanmisi 14, Standhardinger 13, J.Aguilar 13, David 8, Onwubere 6, Malonzo 4, Tenorio 3, Pessumal 3, Gumaru 2, R. Aguilar 2, Pringle 2, Pinto 1, Cu 0.

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