The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the Meralco Bolts at 6:30 PM on November 27, 2020, live from the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Set to culminate the Final Four rumble is the first-seeded Ginebra and the team who already “overachieved” this season, the fifth-seeded Meralco, who will rely on the momentum they got when they managed an 83-80 escape act to force a win-or-go-home Game 5.
Averting a season-ending meltdown at the hands of the Gin Kings, Reynel Hugnatan dropped a conference-high 19 points, 12 in the 4th period, to go with 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and a 3-of-4 clip from the three-point line. Besides this, Hugnatan, coming off the bench, buried a go-ahead jumper in the dying seconds to further increase Meralco’s lead.
Usual key scorers Cliff Hodge and Chris Newsome chipped in 16 points apiece. On the other hand, Raymond Almazan, who has been battling injuries all conference long, got 11 points, 3 rebounds, and a pivotal block that gave the W to Meralco.
“I’m sure the players are very, very happy to get a chance to go into Game 5 and get a chance to go to the finals. Of course, it’s going to be a tough task against Ginebra to beat them in Game 5, but at the same time, we just have to go back and watch the game to figure out what it’s gonna take to get the job done,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black.
“Just like in our battle with San Miguel, we have to win two games to move to the next stage. We’re halfway through,” added Black.
“The challenge going into the next game is to be a little bit ahead of them. In Game 3, Stanley Pringle was able to get away with a lot of points. We should not allow him to be going again like that in Game 5. A lot of role players came out and had a good game just playing their role. As long as the guys continue to play their roles, we might have a chance in Game 5,” Black further said.
With the nail-biting win, the Bolts’ quest for their first-ever conference finals appearance is still alive. However, the team coached by the most bemedalled mentor in PBA history is determined to get back to the finals for the first time in 3 years.
“They came out with a great game plan and put us on our heels. We had a good comeback. Except for a few breaks of the game, we could’ve pulled it out,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone, after losing Game 4.
“We get our calls, and we don’t get our calls. Nothing that we can do about it now. So we just move on. It happens. You just have to play through them. That’s something you have no control over. We wish it would’ve been different, but it’s not. It was a game-changer, no doubt about it,” Cone added.
Ginebra’s top gun Stanley Pringle had 18 points in the loss, followed by Jared Dillinger’s 15 markers off the bench.