Brgy. Ginebra absorbed its second straight loss after falling to Meralco, 101-95, in the resumption of the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Tony Bishop had a solid double-double while Chris Banchero scored 12 points in an impressive debut for the Norman Black-mentored squad who notched their 4th win in 4 starts to join idle Magnolia on top of the leaderboard.
The 32-year old Bishop came through with 30 points and 13 boards to go with 7 assists and a steal. He drained a jumper which broke an 89-all deadlock and sparked a run which gave the Bolts a comfortable 7-point edge, 96-89, with less than 3 minutes left on the game clock.
Banchero, meanwhile, contributed 12 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal in his first game since turning down an offer from Phoenix and signing with Meralco as an unrestricted free agent during the extended conference break.
Chris Newsome also finished with 12 markers while Allein Maliksi added 11.
“I think that our import Tony Bishop had a lot to do with this victory. His consistency throughout the game, the fact that he shows up every game gives us a foundation that we can build on to try to win as much as possible,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
We had to gut it out. It wasn’t a very pretty victory to be quite honest with you. We didn’t shoot the ball that well and we didn’t execute that well offensively. But I think we strung together some defensive stops in the second half that allowed us to separate a little bit and allowed us to win the game,” he added.
Justin Brownlee paced the defending champs with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists while Scottie Thompson and Christian Standhardinger chipped in 18 and 17 points, respectively. Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio added 10 markers apiece.
The Gin Kings, who fell to 3-2, take a 4-day break before taking on the slumping TNT Tropang Giga on Friday, February 18 at the same venue.