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PBA: Aguilar, Ginebra stay alive, grind out physical game vs Meralco


Ginebra found its extra gear in the best of times and turned back an upset-hungry Meralco, 94-87, to force a sudden death in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals, Friday at a packed FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

The Kings lost an 11-point halftime lead but the stars came through, with Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson converting a three-point play each to open the final frame that gave their side the momentum all the way through.

LA Tenorio, Christian Standhardinger, and Stanley Pringle then did their part in the endgame, joining forces to apply the finishing kick to down the Bolts once and for all to ultimately send the best-of-three series to the limit.

“This game wasn’t for boys today. This is a man’s game today. It was physical, it was rough-and-tumble,” said head coach Tim Cone of the grind-out affair.

Aguilar paced the Barangay with 25 points and eight rebounds. Standhardinger finished with all-around numbers of 15 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists as the two proved yet again how well-meshed they’ve become.

Tenorio supplied 13 points after going scoreless in Game One and also collected five rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

Thompson made 11 points, six boards, and nine dimes as the four starters scored in double figures after logging in heavy minutes.

And so, the important thing now for them and the rest of Ginebra is recovery, with Game Three set on Sunday, 6:30. at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“That’s gonna be the issue for us, I think more than it is for them. We had to spend an awful lot of energy. We played a very short rotation, and our guys played some really, really heavy minutes,” Cone said.

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“Now we hand them off to the trainers and the physical therapist and they gotta do their jobs to get our guys ready for Sunday,” he added. “The coaching staff, we’ll put our heads together and see if there are things we want to change.”

Cliff Hodge, meanwhile, led Meralco with 25 points in the loss despite suffering a cut near the mouth at the 2:08-mark of the first following an inadvertent hit from counterpart Prince Caperal during a battle for the rebound,

It surely is a tough loss for the Bolts, who was just a win away not just from advancing to the semis, but to finally win a playoff series against the same team that has beaten them multiple times since the 2016 Governors’ Cup Finals.

The Scores:

Ginebra 94 – J.Aguilar 25, Standhardinger 15, Tenorio 13, Thompson 11, Pringle 9, Chan 8, Pinto 7, Caperal 4, Mariano 2.

Meralco 87 – Hodge 25, Maliksi 14, Pasaol 14, Black 9, Newsome 8, Pascual 3, Banchero 2, Quinto 2.

Quarterscores: 25-25, 56-45, 69-71, 94-87.

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.</e

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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