The Meralco Bolts and the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel face each other in the quarterfinals and Meralco takes the first game in their best-of-three series.
Meralco now sits at the driver’s seat in their series against the Gin-Kings in the current quarterfinals as they win in game one.
“If we want to be a champion, we have to compete with the best; we have to beat the best. We love the opportunity,” said, Newsome.
The Bolts outscored Ginebra from the first period up until the third quarter, racking up a lead that ballooned by as much as 21 points. In the fourth, the Kings tallied 20 points against the Bolts’ 13 points, but this effort was not able to bring down the opposing team’s winning deficit.
Aaron Black led Meralco with 25 points against Ginebra on 10-16 shooting while Chris Newsome carries on his leadership for the Bolts, registering 19 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.
Maliksi added 17 points and knocked down three three-pointers that kept on deflating the Kings and the Ginebra fans in the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Hodge had ten points, five boards, and three steals. Most of Hodge’s points came from drop dimes and dishes from pick and roll plays that resulted in easy lay-ins.
As for the losing team, they need to win this upcoming match in San Juan at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in order for them to keep their hopes still alive as they pursue reaching the finals once again. This is another mountain that the Gin-Kings must climb over.
Scottie Thompson carried most of the load for Ginebra in their first contest against the Bolts, chalking up 29 points, ten rebounds, three dimes, and three steals on the defensive end while playing for 44 minutes of action.
As for the big men of coach Tim Cone, Standhardinger and Aguilar scored 22 combined points, ten points, and twelve points from the duo, respectively. LA Tenorio was nearly inactive offensively against Meralco as he never converted five of his total attempts while playing 32 minutes. Nevertheless, the veteran playmaker still had four boards, four assists, and a block in the losing effort.
Meralco is aiming to take down Ginebra on Friday at 3:00 PM at the FilOil EcoOil Centre.