Wednesday is Independence Day, and the Meralco Bolts will look to move closer to freedom from the zero-rings club when they take on the San Miguel Beermen in Game 4 of the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup finals. Will the Bolts go up 3-1 to push San Miguel to the edge? Or, will the Beermen respond with a clutch win and tie the series up at 2-2?

Catch this game live on Wednesday,  June 12, 2024 at 7:30 pm, Manila time.

San Miguel Beermen (1-2)

Projected Starting Five:

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

This series is turning out to be harder for San Miguel than what most people thought it would be. The Beermen’s 93-89 loss last Sunday in Game 2 had San Miguel losing the possession battle again by a large margin. Just like in their loss in Game 1, the Beermen were massively outshot in Game 3 by Meralco, 84-72. And that’s with June Mar Fajardo, arguably the greatest of all time, taking only five attempts. 

Marcio Lassiter and CJ Perez combined for an awful 9/29 shooting from behind the arc. Things could get better for them in Game 4, perhaps with the help of some good old positive regression. Fajardo still managed to finish with 12 points and 15 rebounds despite dealing with foul trouble. Meanwhile, Mo Tautuaa stepped up for the Beermen in Game 3 with 19 points on 8/12 shooting. The Beermen have a two-headed monster in the frontcourt in Tautuaa and Fajardo and they should continue to pose problems for Meralco, especially if they get more touches. 

Meralco Bolts (2-1)

Projected Starting Five:

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

The Bolts are not going away. They are refusing to bow down to San Miguel. In Game 3, Chris Newsome led the way for Meralco, as he erupted for 26 points. He shot just 7/17 from the field but he got to the line a lot, going 9/11 from the foul line. Not a lot of players in the league can keep up with Newsome, and he’s capitalizing on his advantages to draw fouls and get lots of free passes to the line. Over the last two games, Newsome has gone 16/23 from the charity stripe. 

While Newsome was busy hunting for shots in Game 3, Cliff Hodge and Raymond Almazan pounded the glass, as they combined for 26 rebounds. Meralco won the rebounding battle, 57-50, and got a massive haul of 22 offensive rebounds. Combined with the fact that the Bolts forced the Beermen to commit 15 turnovers to just 10 by Meralco, you get the idea why San Miguel didn’t get as many touches as Newsome and company. That has been a winning formula in this series for Meralco, which will look to do it again in Game 4.


Spread: Meralco Bolts (+4.0)

Over/Under: Over (185.5)