With six players scoring in double figures, the first-seeded Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings made short work of their semis foe the Meralco Bolts, 96-79, on Wednesday to draw first blood in their PBA Philippine Cup best-of-five semifinals last Wednesday at the AUF Sports Arena Powered by Smart 5G.
The ever-reliable Stanley Pringle top-scored the Gin Kings with 19 points, on top of seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Like Pringle, LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, Arvin Tolentino, and Japeth Aguilar provided the team a solid start, collectively scoring 46 points. Thompson came through with nine rebounds and eight assists. Tolentino, on the other hand, finished with a superb 3-of-6 three-pointer.
Respectively, Aljon Mariano and Prince Caperal chipped in 11 and 10 points from the bench to halt the Bolts’ winning streak.
“That was a huge lift for us. In the meantime, we were able to rest, and we were able to practice. Obviously, it was an advantage for us, and I’m glad our guys took advantage of it and came out and played a good game,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.
Ginebra stepped early on the gas pedal and didn’t hold back, and lead by as much as 12-points in the second period. With the Gin Kings pulling away in the match, Meralco couldn’t find their bearing anymore that eventually led to their defeat.
Allein Maliksi tops all scorers with 24; however, aside from him, Chris Newsome was the only other player coached by Norman Black to contribute double-digit points for the Bolts.
Rookie Aaron Black, who played excellently in their quarterfinals encounter with the San Miguel Beermen, only scored 8 points.
Ginebra vs Meralco
Quarters: 21-17; 48-36; 71-54; 96-79.
Gin Kings (96) – Pringle 19, Thompson 13, Tolentino 13, Tenorio 11, Mariano 11, Caperal 10, Aguilar 9, Dillinger 4, Dela Cruz 2, Devance 2, Balanza 2, Salado 0, Chan 0.
Bolts (79) – Maliksi 24, Newsome 13, Hugnatan 9, Black 8, Pinto 6, Hodge 4, Jamito 4, Almazan 3, Faundo 2, Salva 2, Amer 2, Quinto 2, Jackson 0, Caram 0.