Game 1 belongs to the Meralco Bolts. However, the 2022 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals has a long way to go. Will the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel rebound in Game 2? Or, will the Bolts move halfway away from realizing their championship dreams
Catch this game live on Friday, April 8 at 6 pm, Manila time.
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (0-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: LA Tenorio
- SG: Scottie Thompson
- SF: Justin Brownlee
- PF: Christian Standhardinger
- C: Japeth Aguilar (questionable)
Ginebra got stunned in Game 1 of the Finals, as Justin Brownlee was held relatively silent with 20 points on just 7/20 shooting from the field. He did go 11/11 from the foul line, but that salty shooting percentage will have to go up, as much of what Ginebra does on offense is dependent on its import’s effectiveness. Christian Standhardinger was the top local for the Barangay, finishing with 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Scottie Thompson went off with a triple-double of 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in 44 minutes.
That’s mostly it for Ginebra in terms of meaningful support to Brownlee. LA Tenorio was barely felt with just 5 points. Aguilar still did not play in the series opener, but hopes are higher that he’ll be available this Friday. If not, that could open the door anew for Arvin Tolentino to get another start. Tolentino scored 6 points in 21 minutes of action in Game 1. Aguilar was sorely missed by the Barangay in Game 1, with Meralco winning both battles in rebounding and inside scoring.
The Meralco Bolts (1-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Aaron Black
- SG: Chris Newsome
- SF: Allein Maliksi
- PF: Tony Bishop
- C: Raymond Almazan
Meralco did not allow Ginebra’s sixth man to figure much in Game 1. The Bolts led by as many as 21 points and did more than enough to keep the Barangay at bay and the mostly pro-Ginebra crowd silent, thanks in large part to Allein Maliksi and Tony Bishop doing most of the heavy lifting to lead Meralco to the crucial victory. It’s a pretty telling win for Meralco, which entered the series opener as the Finals underdog; 60 of the last 88 teams to take Game 1 of a PBA Finals ended up winning the championship. Maliksi poured in 22 points while Bishop scored 20 with 12 rebounds.
Three other Bolts also scored in double figures, including Aaron Black, who started and provided the team with 12 points. Chris Banchero played 14 minutes off the bench, but it looks like Black will continue getting the start with the way he’s been playing lately. Their outside shooting came in handy for the Bolts in Game 1, with the team going 11/21 from deep. They will look to test if they still have the touch early in Game 2, but perhaps even more crucial going forward for the Bolts is their bench production. Meralco’s relievers outscored Ginebra’s in the series opener, 32-14.
Spread: Ginebra can’t fall down a 0-2 hole, right? But the Bolts seem to have the Barangay’s number this time around. Sticking to the Bolts to at least cover (+1.5).
Over/Under: The blowout nature of Game 1 resulted in an Over hit. With adjustments from both teams coming in Game 2, the game should be played much tighter this time. Plus, Meralco hitting over 50% of shots from behind the arc for the second game in a row appears to be unlikely. Taking the Under (190.5) here.