PBA Philippine Cup

‘All we need is the win’: Meralco spoils Standhardinger explosion to tie Ginebra in semis

Delfin Dioquino

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‘All we need is the win’: Meralco spoils Standhardinger explosion to tie Ginebra in semis

SOAR. Chris Newsome in action for the Meralco Bolts in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

Meralco overcomes a career performance by Christian Standhardinger to pull level with Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals

MANILA, Philippines – As long as Meralco is winning, it does not mind if a single player on the opposing team is scoring in bunches.

The Bolts overcame a career performance by Barangay Ginebra star Christian Standhardinger to pull level with the Gin Kings in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, 103-91, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, May 19.

Standhardinger produced a career-high 41 points on an ultra-efficient 13-of-17 shooting, but that went down the drain as Meralco knotted the best-of-seven series at 1-1.

“We’re okay with letting one guy go off if that means that everybody else is cold, does not have their rhythm. Because at the end of the day, all we need is the win,” said Bolts star Chris Newsome.

“At the end of the game, if we’re the ones that prevailed, then we did our job despite how many points our opponent had.”

The game marked the second time in this playoffs that Meralco still won despite its opponent having a player breaching the 40-point mark.

In Game 1 of their best-of-three quarterfinals against NLEX, the Bolts fought back to spoil an explosive 48-point performance by Road Warriors ace Robert Bolick.

“Basketball is a team sport. There are five guys on the floor and it comes down to how you use those pieces and utilize those pieces,” said Newsome.

Newsome conspired with Maliksi to match the scoring production of Standhardinger as they fired 20 and 25 points, respectively.

Cliff Hodge posted 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Chris Banchero netted 11 points and 8 rebounds, with the two delivering crucial buckets in the 8-2 closing run Meralco used to fend off the Ginebra comeback.

The Bolts also drew steady performances from big men Raymond Almazan and Brandon Bates, who combined for 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Standhardinger recorded the most points by a Gin Kings local in nearly two decades since franchise icon Mark Caguioa erupted for 45 points against Air21 in the 2006 edition of the All-Filipino tournament.

He also supplied 11 rebounds and 4 assists, but his all-around numbers were not enough as Ginebra trailed for most of the game.

“There are certain things we’re giving up and there are certain things we’re taking away. In a seven-game series, we believe the more we do those things better, we have a better chance,” said Meralco head coach Luigi Trillo.

Maverick Ahanmisi (14 points) and Stanley Pringle (13 points) were the only other players in double-digit scoring for the Gin Kings.

The Scores

Meralco 103 – Maliksi 25, Newsome 20, Hodge 13, Banchero 11, Almazan 7, Quinto 7, Mendoza 6, Bates 6, Pascual 5, Caram 3, Rios 0, Torres 0.

Barangay Ginebra 91 – Standhardinger 41, Ahanmisi 14, Pringle 13, J. Aguilar 7, Thompson 6, Cu 6, Onwubere 3, Tenorio 1, David 0, Pinto 0, Murrell 0.

Quarters: 32-27, 55-42, 73-74, 103-91.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.