Thompson Scottie Thompson of Barangay Ginebra gets going against old rival Meralco PBA photo

Payback time for Ginebra

May 19, 2024 Robert Andaya 147 views
Brandon Bates of Meralco. PBA photo

IT was payback time for Barangay Ginebra.

Beaten black and blue by Meralco in their only meeting during the elimination round, Ginebra came through with a morale-boosting 92-88 win in the opener of their PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinal showdown at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Stanley Pringle scattered a personal conference-high 22 points on a prolific 9-of-13 shooting, rookie Ralph Cu added 18 points on 6-of-7 three-pointers and Japeth Aguilar contributed 17 points and eight rebounds in Ginebra’s decisive victory over Meralco in the latest installment of their long- running rivalry.

Pringle’s effort included a game- clinching layup that made it 92-86 for Ginebra with only 39 seconds left.

Cu’s three-point binge included two in the Gin Kings’ decisive third-quarter run that enabled them to avenge an ego-deflating 73-91 defeat at the hands of the Bolts at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last March 15.

Also stepping up for Ginebra were Maverick Ahanmisi, who finished with 16 points, six rebounds and three assist; and Christian Standhardinger, who added 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Former PBA MVP Scottie Thompson managed only five points but contributed eight rebounds and five assists in 39 minutes.

“They locked in, and came together,”said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, referring to the outstanding games by Pringle and double-digit contributions from Cu, Aguilar, Ahanmisi and Standhardinger.

Impressive as it was, Cone said the victory gave them only a 1-0 lead in a long series versus an old rival with new players and a new system under a new coaching set-up.

“The bottom line is it’s just Game 1. We put the other team to a reactive phase, but we have to play a lot better. They’re an old rival, but they’re a new team and we’ll try to figure it out,” added Cone.

Chris Newsome carried the fight for the Bolts with a team-high 21 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in 33 minutes.

Chris Banchero added 15 points and eight assists, Alein Maliksi had 13 points and John Quinto had 10 points for the Bolts, who made it to the semis by eliminating sister team NLEX.

Earlier Friday, San Miguel Beer survived a major scare to beat Rain or Shine, 101-98, and take the headstart in their own best-of-seven semifinal series.

June Mar Fajardo finished with a game-high 23 points on a prolific 8-of-11 shooting, 11 rebounds, five assists and l three blocks in nearly 38 minutes of action.

Don Trollano added 17 points and six rebounds and Marcio Lassiter contributed 16 points.

The scores:

Ginebra (92)– Pringle 22, Cu 18, J.Aguilar 17, Ahanmisi 15, Standhardinger 14, Thompson 5, Onwubere 1, Tenorio 0, Pinto 0.
Meralco (88) – Newsome 21, Banchero 15, Maliksi 13, Quinto 11, Hodge 10, Almazan 8, Bates 6, Caram 3, Pasaol 1, Mendoza 0, Torres 0, Pascual 0
Quarterscores: 22-22, 40-41, 73-61, 92-88.

Games Sunday:

(Mall of Asia Arena)
3 p.m. — Ginebra vs. Meralco
6:15 p.m. — San Miguel vs. Rain or Shine