The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the Meralco Bolts at 6:45 PM on November 22, 2020, live from the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga.
With six players scoring in double digits, Meralco, who came to life in the second half, defeated Ginebra, 95-77, and leveled the best-of-five series anew, 1-1.
Chris Newsome finished with 16 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds as the Bolts claimed their first win against the Gin Kings, who defeated them in 5 straights games dating back to the Governors’ Cup finals last season.
Bong Quinto and Allein Maliksi, who came off the bench, tallied 14 points apiece. Quinto also delivered 6 rebounds, and 3 assists in the win, while Maliksi scored his points on a 4-of-9 clip from three-point distance.
Cliff Hodge had 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 steals, while Raymond Almazan chimed in with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
“Unlike in Game 1, we had balanced scoring. A lot of guys scored today, particularly Chris Newsome, Allein Maliksi, and Bong Quinto,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black.
“We just talked about the reality that we could not go down 0-2 in the series. We would not have a chance to come back from that deficit against Ginebra,” Black added.
“This was really, really important for us,” Black further said.
Early in the second half, Barangay Ginebra led by as much as 13 points. Unfortunately for the Tim Cone-head coach team, Meralco unleashed a 24-6 run anchored on 9 points from Newsome to seize a 66-61 lead going into the fourth quarter.
With 5 minutes left in the game, Baser Amer, who finished with 10 points off the bench, buried two triples as Meralco’s lead ballooned to 15, which eventually led to a lopsided victory that saw Meralco outscore Ginebra 53-27 in the second half.
Japeth Aguilar led the Gin Kings with 17 points and 8 rebounds in a losing effort, while LA Tenorio caught fire early with 16 points. Tenorio, however, went scoreless in the second half, as he played subpar basketball.
Stanley Pringle, who scored 19 points in their victory in Game 1, struggled this time, scoring only 9 points.