It’s all tied up, folks. The Meralco Bolts just refuse to back down against the mighty San Miguel Beermen. With the series tied and a pivotal Game 5 coming up, this Meralco vs. San Miguel 2022 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series is really looking like the barnburner many expected it to be.

Catch this game live on Friday, August 12 at 6 pm, Manila time.

Meralco Bolts (2-2)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Aaron Black
  • SG: Chris Newsome
  • SF: Allein Maliksi
  • PF: Cliff Hodge
  • C: Raymond Almazan

Aaron Black is not getting the love he deserves but that’s the least of his worries as long as Meralco is winning. Black rose to the occasion anew in Game 4 and top-scored for the Bolts with 21 points on 8/14 shooting. He also had 7 assists and 7 rebounds in 36 minutes. Meralco could not have asked more from him, but he did check all the boxes anyway, even limiting his turnovers to just one.

 That kind of efficient performance should be the template for Meralco in its attempt to upset a still high-powered Beermen side. Chris Hodge shot 8/11 for 18 points in Game 4, while Allein Maliksi had 19 on 50 FG%. Although Raymond Almazan came off the bench again, the Bolts were smarter this time around by giving him more minutes, and he repaid that trust by notching 17 points and 6 rebounds in 22 minutes. It’s all coming together again for the Bolts, whose excellent ball movement lulled San Miguel’s defense into letting Meralco have 40 made field goals on 28 assists in Game 4.  


San Miguel Beermen (2-2)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Chris Ross
  • SG: CJ Perez
  • SF: Marcio Lassiter
  • PF: Rodney Brondial
  • C: June Mar Fajardo

What now for the Beermen? After missing on a golden opportunity to bury the Bolts in a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 series deficit, San Miguel will now have to find a way to slow down Meralco again. Junemar Fajardo was Junemar Fajardo as usual in Game 4, as he pumped out 24 points and 13 rebounds, but CJ Perez struggled with efficiency, going 6/17 from the floor for 24 points. 

The lack of bench support was glaring for the Beermen in that loss, with the backups putting together a grand total of just 20 points. If anything, at least the Beermen got the Marcio Lassiter game they had been waiting for in the semifinals. Lassiter went off for 23 points with four 3-pointers, and that could be the start of a hot stretch for the sweet-shotting veteran.  Another good sign for the Beermen heading to Game 5 is the fact that they are a perfect 3-0 straight up in games after a loss, so far in the conference.


Spread: SMB (-5) covers.

Over/Under: The Under (195.0) hits.