Barangay Ginebra survived Meralco’s huge comeback bid to take Game 2 with a 99-93 triumph and level the best-of-seven PBA Governors’ Cup finals series at 1-1 on Friday, April 8.
One thing Meralco has not done against Barangay Ginebra in their three previous PBA title duels is take a 2-0 lead.
The Bolts will get a chance to do that as they look to follow up their rousing 104-91 win over the Gin Kings in the second game of their best-of-seven Governors’ Cup finals at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, April 8.
Meralco spread the wealth in its Game 1 romp with five players scoring in double figures, but it was Allein Maliksi and import Tony Bishop who carried the scoring cudgels.
Staying hot from the semifinals, Maliksi fired a team-high 22 points on a 5-of-7 clip from three-point land, while Bishop delivered 20 points, with 12 coming in their third-quarter pull away, to go with 12 rebounds and 4 assists.
The Bolts also got timely contribution from Aaron Black, who put up 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists in his PBA finals debut.
Ginebra had its fair share of top performers.
Justin Brownlee netted a game-high 27 points on top 6 rebounds and 5 assists, Scottie Thompson put up 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, while Christian Standhardinger posted 20 points and 14 rebounds.
But the Gin Kings did not get the same production from their other old reliables.
LA Tenorio, Jeff Chan, and John Pinto – who all played key roles in the semifinals – combined for just 12 points on a frigid 4-of-18 shooting (22%).
Clamping down on the usually potent Ginebra offense, which ranks second in the league, is the plan of action for Meralco.
“Everything for us is going to be about defense. It is going to be about trying to find a way to slow them down offensively,” said Bolts head coach Norman Black.
“So far, so good.”
Game time is at 6 pm.