After an 87-80 win in Game 3, the Meralco Bolts took control of the series lead against the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. Will the Bolts push Ginebra to the brink of elimination with another win this Friday? Or, will the Barangay tie it up with a big victory?

Catch this game live on Friday,  May 24 at 4:30 pm, Manila time.

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (1-2)

Projected Starting Five:

  • Scottie Thompson
  • Maverick Ahanmisi
  • Louis Cu
  • Japeth Aguilar
  • Christian Standhardinger

The Barangay are on the ropes. After taking Game 1, Ginebra has lost the last two games in the series against Meralco and needs a solution quick to its woes to prevent its situation from getting worse. In Game 3, the Barangay were not able to get a monster performance that they got from Christian Standhardinger in Game 2, as he finished with just 10 points on 3/10 shooting from the field. 

Fatigue could be getting to C-Stand, given the way he’s been carrying the Barangay, so his relatively mediocre showing in Game 3 could be interpreted as a clear sign that help is needed from his teammates. One positive takeaway for Ginebra was Japeth Aguilar getting back on track offensively, as he had 15 points on 6/10 shooting from the floor. But the player Ginebra needs the most to start showing signs of life on offense is Scottie Thompson, who has scored just 19 points on an atrocious  21.9 percent shooting from the field.

Meralco Bolts (2-1)

Projected Starting Five:

  • Christopher Banchero
  • Allein Maliksi
  • Chris Newsome
  • Clifford Hodge
  • Raymond Almazan

Thompson’s struggles in the semis thus far aren’t just a case of a player hitting a slump. It is a product of Meralco’s suffocating defense, which the 2022 PBA Most Valuable Player acknowledged himself following Game 3’s loss. “Talagang they defended well, scouted well,” Thompson said of the Bolts (via TieBreaker Times). 

But it’s not just Thompson feeling the effects of Meralco’s defense. In Game 2, the Barangay shot just 42.9 percent from the floor. In Game 3, Meralco only hit 36.8% percent of their shots. Meralco didn’t shoot very well either in Game 3 (40.7 FG%) but it made up for it with its defense that forced the Barangay to commit 14 turnovers to just nine by the Bolts in that contest. The Bolts’ physicality also seems to be wearing down Ginebra. Meralco has been slapped with a total of 67 personal fouls while the Barangay have been called for just 47 fouls in the last two games.


Spread: Meralco Bolts (+2.5)

Over/Under: Under (178.0)