Here are the live scores, updates, and results of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup between the Meralco Bolts and the Alaska Aces, scheduled on July 31, 2021, at 4:30 PM.
Meralco (3-1) and Alaska (2-2) will try to extend their winning streak in Saturday’s lone match of the 46th season of the PBA, being held at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
On Wednesday, the Bolts and Aces resumed their winning ways.
Meralco defeated Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, 91-80, to move to 3-1 on the season after a loss to Rain or Shine Elasto Painters the week before.
In this match, Allein Maliksi had 24 points and seven rebounds, while Chris Newsome had 23 points, seven assists, and four rebounds.
After trailing by only 5 points at the end of the first quarter, 21-16, the Bolts exploded in the second quarter, outscoring the Fuel Masters 27-16 to take a comfortable 48-32 halftime advantage.
Meralco took over from there, extending their advantage to as much as 21 points, 84-63, halfway through the fourth quarter to put Phoenix away for good.
Despite the morale-boosting win, Meralco coach Norman Black expects a tough encounter against Alaska, which had a strong defensive performance against Rain or Shine.
“Alaska is coming off a big win last Wednesday so it should be a tough contest,” said Black.
In a 74-48 win over Rain or Shine, Alaska evened its record at 2-2 by forcing Rain or Shine to produce the second lowest output by any team in PBA history.
After losing to the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters in their previous game, the Aces came out swinging and led by 18 points at halftime, 41-23.
The Aces then went on a 7-0 run to expand their lead to 25, 48-23, which was too much for the ice-cold Elasto Painters to overcome early in the third period.
Rodney Brondial led the team with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while Abu Tratter contributed 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The last time this two teams met, Baser Amer comes up big in the last quarter as Meralco notches its maiden win and keeps Alaska winless at the early stages of last year’s PBA bubble.
The All-Filipino Cup will proceed to the quarterfinals in its customary format, with the top eight teams advancing. Against the eighth and seventh seeds, the top two seeds will have a twice-to-beat advantage. Meanwhile, in a best-of-three series, No. 3 will face No. 6, and No. 4 will face No. 5. Best-of-seven matches will be played in the semifinals and finals.
Unlike last season’s setup, the league will have a closed-circuit system for the Philippine Cup this time, with teams, league employees, and the media encouraged to keep a venue-home pattern to limit COVID-19 exposure.
The games will be held four times a week. The conference is also scheduled to go through the end of October.