The Meralco Bolts were humbled in Game 1, and they will look to tie the series up against the Barangay Ginebra this Friday.
Ginebra are two wins away from advancing to the PBA Finals, but shouldn’t get overconfident of their chances, as the Bolts remain a dangerous opponent despite their atrocious performance last Wednesday. They need to continue with their focus and dominate their foes again.
Catch this game live on November 18 at 3:45 pm, Manila time.
The Meralco Bolts (0-1)
The Bolts came out flat in the opening game of their semifinals series against Ginebra, as they were flat out dominated in a 96-79 loss.
Many of those who were expected to produce for Meralco didn’t. Outside of Allein Maliksi and Chris Newsome, no Meralco player scored more than nine points. Maliksi led the team with 24 points off the bench, while Newsome had 13 points.
Starters Baser Amer and Bong Quinto ghosted the Bolts with a combined 2-of-19 shooting from the field. It’s not yet time to panic for Meralco, but unless it coaxes ample production from Amer and the other secondary scoring options, the going will only be tougher for the Bolts, who shot just 39 percent in Game 1.
Meralco head coach Norman Black also needs his players to show a better effort on the glass after the Bolts got outrebounded 53-36 last Wednesday.
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (1-0)
If Ginebra expected a tough battle in Game 1, it certainly didn’t look like the Barangay played in one, as they dominated the Bolts on both ends of the floor from start to finish.
Unlike Meralco, the Barangay had no problems getting buckets, with six players scoring at least 10 points. Stanley Pringle led all Ginebra scorers with 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor, while Scottie Thompson and Arvin Tolentino each had 13 markers.
Pringle is a mismatch problem for the Bolts, who have no answer to the Ginebra star’s quickness and ability to get into the paint and finishing around the rim. With Meralco big man Raymond Almazan seemingly not 100 percent, Pringle and the other Ginebra slashers can continue having success in attacking the basket. Ginebra scored 50 points in the paint to just 34 by Meralco in Game 1.
Ginebra’s three-guard attack of LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, and Pringle look unstoppable, especially when playing alongside versatile bigs in Japeth Aguilar and Arvin Tolentino.
Meralco will shoot better in Game 2, but the Bolts remain flummoxed by the Barangay’s combination of speed and size. Ginebra wins Game 2, 95-87.