The Meralco Bolts scored a convincing 79-66 victory over defending champion Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel in their final game of the elimination round of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Bacolor, Pampanga, Thursday afternoon.
The Bolts, already assured of the number two seed heading into the quarterfinals showed its poise and determination in stopping the mini- Brgy. Ginebra rallies in the third and fourth quarter to secure the win, their ninth in the tourney. The loss, meanwhile, put the defending champs deeper into the standings with a 4-7 record and now needs a victory by NorthPort over Alaska in their final game to have a slim chance of entering the quarterfinals.
A win by Alaska later in the afternoon will eliminate the Gin Kings while a win by NorthPort will mean a do or die battle for 8th spot between the defending champs and Phoenix Super LPG.
The Bolts, behind its balanced offensive attack, led early on and never looked back, exploiting the absence of Scottie Thompson and Japhet Aguilar for Ginebra. Despite being limited to just eight points in the third quarter, the Norman Black – mentored squad tightened their defense and did not let Ginebra gain the lead.
Mac Belo and rookie Alvin Pasaol led the charge for the Bolts with 15 points apiece with Chris Newsome, Bong Quinto, Allein Maliksi and Jammer Jamito also contributed at least 7 points.
Stanley Pringle scored 19 points for the defending champs while Christian Standhardinger and LA Tenorio chipped in 17 and 11 points respectively for Ginebra.
The scores :
Meralco 79 – Pasaol 15, Belo 15, Newsome 10, Quinto 8, Maliksi 7, Jamito 7, Almazan 6, Caram 4, Hodge 3, Pinto 2, Baclao 2, Jackson 0.
Brgy. Ginebra 66 – Pringle 19, Standhardinger 17, Tenorio 11, Chan 7, Mariano 6, Devance 4, Dillinger 2, Caperal 0, Enriquez 0, Holmqvist 0.
Quarterscores: 23-15, 47-32, 55-51, 79-66.