The Meralco Bolts shocked everyone in Game 1 by drawing first blood in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup. Now that they have an early series lead, will the Bolts double down on that this Friday? Or, will the San Miguel Beermen even it all up with a big bounce-back victory?

Catch this game live on Friday,  June 7, 2024 at 7:30 pm, Manila time.

San Miguel Beermen (0-1)

Projected Starting Five:

  • Chris Ross
  • CJ Perez
  • Marcio Lassiter
  • Rodney Brondial
  • June Mar Fajardo

The Beermen aren’t invincible after all. In Game 1, San Miguel suffered a 93-86 upset loss to Meralco but it wasn’t because the Beermen’s best player disappeared. In fact, Junemar Fajardo muscled out 23 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 7/10 from the floor. Marcio Lassiter, meanwhile, produced 16 points with three 3-pointers. What made it tougher for San Miguel to eke out a win in the series opener was the early foul trouble of CJ Perez, who already had four personal fouls in the first half. 

That took him out of rhythm, though, he still finished with 20 points and seven rebounds.  Perez will look to stay out of foul trouble in Game 2, while as a team, San Miguel aims to take better care of the leather. San Miguel committed 19 turnovers in Game 1 and the Bolts turned them into 18 points. There is no cause for alarm for the Beermen, but it has to start flexing in Game 2 before Meralco gets more confident. 

Meralco Bolts (1-0)

Projected Starting Five:

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

Chris Banchero did not leave his game behind in the semifinals. He continued his excellent play in the playoffs with a stellar performance in Game 1, as he and Chris Newsome teamed up to lead the Bolts to a win. Banchero scored 18 points on 8/16 shooting from the floor against the Beermen while Newsome also had 18 on 8/17 shooting. The two also got ample support from Kier Quinto and Allein Maliksi who had 15 points apiece. 

Meralco knows the importance of winning the possession battle against the Beermen and the Bolts played like it in Game 1, as they outshot San Miguel from the field, 88-72. That’s a huge disparity created in part because of Meralco’s defense that forced San Miguel to commit numerous turnovers. Fajardo had six of those turnovers, a testament to the effectiveness of Meralco’s aggressive defense on the seven-time PBA Most Valuable Player.


Spread: Meralco Bolts (+5.0)

Over/Under: Over (187.0)