Ginebra, Meralco try to extend playoff dominance in finals rematch

Published April 3, 2022, 1:26 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PBA

The fourth championship showdown between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco in the PBA Governors’ Cup will see either ending up completing a trifecta of playoff victories against teams from their corporate rival.

Aside from looking to continue its mastery over Meralco, Ginebra is also attempting to pull a reverse of what TNT did in the Philippine Cup and beat all three squads owned by Manny V. Pangilinan.

Meralco, on the other hand, will not only try to end its misery over Ginebra but repeat TNT’s feat the previous conference.

No team has ever beat all three MVP Group teams to win the championship, and Ginebra is in a position to break the ice after beating TNT in the quarterfinals despite needing to win twice and posting a 3-1 series win over NLEX in the semifinals.

In getting to the finals, Meralco needed short work of San Miguel Beer in the quarters, then had to scratch its way past Magnolia Pambansang Manok during a semis series that went the maximum five games.

Only the 2021 Tropang Giga and the 2001 Commissioner’s Cup champion Red Bull Thunder have pulled off the feat, with the Bolts hoping to join the exclusive club.

The upcoming Ginebra-Meralco series will continue the trend of finals meetings between the two conglomerates.

It will be the sixth straight conference wherein an SMC-MVP finals will occur to dispute the PBA’s ultimate prize, a streak that began in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup when San Miguel beat TNT, 4-2.

Ginebra prevailed over Meralco, 4-1. in the 2019 Governors’ Cup before defeating TNT, 4-1, in the 2020 Philippine Cup held under a bubble setup in Clark, Pampanga.

TNT beat Magnolia also in five games last October for the 2021 Philippine Cup title in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Ginebra and Meralco begin their latest title chase on Wednesday, April 6 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum before the Mall of Asia Arena hosts Game 2 and 3 on April 8 and 10.

Game 4 will be on April 13 at the Big Dome with the schedule of the rest of the series, if necessary, to be determined on a later date.