Meralco made its presence felt and sent a message to the fans and the Barangay Ginebra by putting up a dominance 95-77 performance in Game 2. They’ve tied the series at 1-1 in the best-of-five semifinal series of the 2020 Philippine Cup.
After losing a blowout in Game 1, fans and critics quickly jumped on the Bolts, stating that they’re overmatched and that this series would be an easy victory for the Kings.
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However, in Game 2, Meralco showcased a well-rounded performance as they controlled the game on both ends of the floor.
The Bolts did not only shoot better from the field, shooting 41% overall and 45% from the three-point line compared to Barangay Ginebra’s 36% from the field and 40% from deep.
Meralco also outhustled the Kings on the boards 53-44 and imposed themselves inside by scoring 44 points in the paint while only allowing Barangay Ginebra to score 26 of their own.
The Bolts gave the Kings a taste of their own medicine, as six players scored double-figures for Meralco.
Chris Newsome led the way with 16 points, four rebounds and six assists, while Bong Quinto showed glimpses of his all-around game in college with 14 points, six rebounds, three assists with one steal and a block.
Cliff Hodge had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Raymond Almazan had 11 points and 11 rebounds while Baser Amer and Allein Maliksi provided fire power off the bench as they had 10 and 14 points respectively.
Barangay Ginebra had shown a dominance over Meralco in the last four playoff series that they played against each other, so many expected this series to be more of the same – especially since Meralco couldn’t rely on an import to help carry the load.
But the Bolts proved that this will be a grit and grind series and that an easy path to the Finals is now out of the window.
“In this kind of a series, it’s a game of adjustments, obviously we lost Game 1 so we had to adjust to keep up with this Ginebra team. Now, either you stand back or you try to anticipate Coach Tim’s adjustment or they could just do what they did tonight much better. We just had to prepare the team as much as possible,” said head coach Norman Black in the post-game press conference.
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