Raymond Almazan Raymond Almazan of Meralco reacts. PBA photo

Bolts to go for 3-1 lead vs Kings

May 23, 2024 Robert Andaya 155 views

AFTER losing the series opener to long-time rival Barangay Ginebra, Meralco came back with a vengeance.

The results were 103-91 and 87-80 victories in the next two games, giving the Bolts a decisive 2-1 advantage in their best-of-seven semifinal series in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Dasmariñas Arena in Dasmariñas, Cavite.

Less than 48 hours later, the Bolts and the Kings are back at each other’s throats again when they square off in Game 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Meralco coach Luigi Trillo reminded his players not to get complacent even with a 2-1 advantage over the suddenly embattled Kings.

“No letdown. We have to focus, do it not one time but multiple times. We know Ginebra is capable (of coming back) but we’re also capable (of standing our ground),” said Trillo.

Last Wednesday, the Bolts came out victorious in a low-scoring battle that saw the Kings manage only 18 first-quarter points and their top gun Christian Standhardinger struggle with only 10 points after a career-high 41-point explosion in Game 2 last Sunday.

The Bolts were also able to clamp down on all the other Ginebra starters, including Scottie Thompson and Stanley Pringle

Thompson finished with only eight points on 2-of-13 shooting, while Pringle had four points om 2-of- 6 shooting.

While the Bolts were focused on defense, Allein Maliksi and Chris Newsome shone brightest on the offensive end with the former scoring 16 points, including three tiples, and the latter hitting 14 points, six assists and four rebounds.

Games Friday:
(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:30 p.m. — Ginebra vs. Meralco
7:30 p.m. — San Miguel vs. Rain or Shine

Game 1 — Ginebra 92, Meralco 88.
Game 2 — Meralco 103, Ginebra 91.
Game 3 — Meralco 87, Ginebra 80.
(Meralco leads semifinal series, 2-1)