PBA: Meralco takes series opener vs Ginebra

From the PBA Facebook page
From the PBA Facebook page

Meralco drew first blood against defending champion Barangay Ginebra in a highly physical Game 1 of their best-of-7 title series in the PBA Governors’ Cup, 104-91, Wednesday night.

The two squads went back and forth in front of 12,475 spectators at the Araneta Coliseum, but in the end, the Bolts got the better of the exchange with its defensive set-up. 

Meralco’s offense also clicked Wednesday night, adding more problems to the fancied Ginebra team.

Allein Maliksi set the tone for Meralco, connecting 5 of his 7 attempts from the 3-point area to finish with 22 points.

Import Tony Bishop added 20 markers to go with his 12 rebounds, helping the Bolts to lead by as many as 21.

Cliff Hodge and Aaaron Black added 17 and 12 markers, respectively, as Meralco walked away with a 1-0 series lead.

“We were off to a good start offensively, our defense held up very, very well. The locals did a great job setting the tone.,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.

“It’s very important to get that first win. If you fall behind in this series, it’s going to be very hard to catch up.”

Scottie Thompson recorded a triple double of 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists for Ginebra, which got 27 points from Justin Brownlee and 20 markers from Christian Standhardinger.

But the Kings failed to recover from their double-digit deficit and had to absorb a beating in Game 1.

The game was so intense that two players, Meralco’s Raymar Jose and Ginebra Arvin Tolentino nearly came to blows in the final seconds.

The two squads will meet again in Game 2 on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:

MERALO 104 – Maliksi 22, Bishop 20, Hodge 17, Black 12, Newsome 8, Quinto 6, Belo 5, Banchero 2, Jose 2, Caram 0, Baclao 0, Canete 0, Pasaol 0, Jamito 0

GINEBRA 91 – Brownlee 27, Standhardinger 20, Thompson 19, Tolentino 6, Chan 5, Tenorio 5, Caperal 4, Ayaay 3, Pinto 2, Mariano 0, Onwubere 0, Devance 0, Enriquez 0

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