The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel forced a Game 3 in their quarterfinals matchup against the Meralco Bolts with a 94-87 win in Game 2. The series ends this Sunday, but who will be advancing to the semifinals where the San Miguel Beermen are waiting for the winner of this Meralco-Ginebra showdown?
Catch this game live on Sunday, July 31 at 6:30 pm, Manila time.
Meralco Bolts (1-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Aaron Black
- SG: Chris Newsome
- SF: Allein Maliksi
- PF: Cliff Hodge
- C: Raymond Almazan
Meralco wasted a grand opportunity to send the Barangay home, as they faltered in Game 2. Aaron Black, who exploded for 25 points in the series opener, only mustered 9 points on 3/9 shooting in Game 2 while Chris Newsome managed just 8 points. Turnovers were a massive problem for the Meralco last Friday, with Black and Newsome combining for 12 of the team’s 21 turnovers.
A positive spin here is that ball-security issues can be immediately remedied, and the Bolts hope that their high-usage guys will be able to take better care of the leather this Sunday. When Meralco took down the Barangay in Game 1, the Bolts only had 13 turnovers. And despite giving the ball away that many times in Game 2, the Bolts still came up two field-goal attempts short of matching their Game 1 total of 78. Meralco has also yet to lose the rebounding battle in this series.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (1-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: LA Tenorio
- SG: Stanley Pringle
- SG: Scottie Thompson
- PF: Christian Standhardinger
- C: Japeth Aguilar
Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger would not let Ginebra get swept by the Bolts. Aguilar paced the Barangay with 25 points in Game 1 while also pulling down 8 rebounds and recording 5 blocks. Standhardinger flexed his muscles and double-doubled 14 points and 12 rebounds. Those two make life so much easier for the Barangay, who loves involving their big men in their offense predicated on sound ball movement. In fact, Ginebra has a 67.6 AST% – the best in the league this conference.
With Scottie Thompson, Stanley Pringle, and LA Tenorio in the backcourt together most of the time, Ginebra has a dependable trio to make sure the rock is being shared all the time without sacrificing their abilities to individually create shots when plays break down and put tremendous pressure on Meralco’s ball-handlers. (The three had 7 of Ginebra’s 14 steals in Game 2.) Speaking of Tenorio, he recovered from a zero-point output in Game 1 by scoring 13 points in Game 2, though he will still have to work on his efficiency after going 5/21 from the field on Friday.
Spread: Meralco (+2.5) covers.
Over/Under: Taking the Under (175.5).