Ginebra, Meralco seek crucial win

Published April 17, 2022, 11:28 AM

by Jonas Terrado

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco aim to move one step closer towards winning the PBA Governors’ Cup as they face off for a 3-2 lead in the resumption of their title series on Sunday, April 17 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Photo from PBA

A big Easter Sunday crowd is expected to pack the Big Dome and possibly set another attendance record in the 6:30 p.m. encounter with both teams hoping to win in order to close in on capturing the season-ending conference.

Momentum seems to be on Ginebra’s side after tying the series with a 95-84 victory last Wednesday, thanks to a huge second half anchored by Justin Brownlee and Scottie Thompson.

But Meralco is hoping that the long break due to the Lenten season would work in its favor and regain control of the best-of-seven affair.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone called the Game 4 win as his team’s best of the series as Brownlee and Thompson were not just the players who had important roles.

Christian Standhardinger, Jeff Chan and Nards Pinto also made the plays on both ends as the Gin Kings pulled away and once led by a high of 20 points after a 41-all tie at the break.

Japeth Aguilar also made his return from a calf injury after missing six games, including the first three of the finals, but his status is a game-time decision after feeling some pain during his 10-minute stint on the floor.

Bolts coach Norman Black lamented the lack of energy his team showed entering the third quarter, which contributed heavily to the defeat.

Meralco has been used to starting off strong in the second half of the previous games, particularly on the defensive side which crumbled in Game 4.

Import Tony Bishop will be tasked to play consistently than in the previous four outings, so are Aaron Black, Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge with the game possibly playing a determining factor on the outcome.

The Bolts are also banking on Allein Maliksi, who has been on and off since the championship chase began, to rebound from another anemic performance.