/ 1 August 2022

THIS time, Ginebra San Miguel failed to draw strength from its ‘do-or-die’ attitude as Meralco nailed a hard-earned 106-104 victory in the Game 3 decider at the SM Mall of Asia, barging in the process into the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) semifinal series.

The loss effectively booted out the Gin Kings while the Bolts advanced to the best-of-seven semifinals against the San Miguel Beermen who won recently over a gritty NLEX squad that refused to go down so easily before absorbing the heartbreaking loss.

In trashing the crowd favorites, seven Bolts players finished in double figures with guard-forward Chris Newsome leading the way with a huge triple-double performance of 21 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, and 2 steals in 40 minutes of play.

Filipino-American Cliff Hodge added a solid double-double game of 13 points, a game-high 18 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal while Aaron Black, son of PBA Best Import and Meralco mentor Norman Black, finished with 17 points which included three 3-pointers along with 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal.

On the losing side, it was Ginebra’s flashy point guard Scottie Thompson who paced the Gin  Kings with a game-high 26 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, followed by Christian Standhardinger with a double-double performance of 23 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.


The Scores:


Meralco (106) — Newsome 21, Black 17, Hodge 13, Maliksi 12, Quinto 11, Almazan 11, Pasaol 11, Banchero 4, Jose 4, Pascual 2

Ginebra (104) — Thompson 26, Standhardinger 23, J. Aguilar 21, Tenorio 12, Pringle 12, Pinto 6, Chan 4, Caperal 0, Onwubere 0, Mariano 0.

Quarters: 24-18, 55-42, 85-76, 106-104