Gin Kings snap out of slide, catch Beermen at fourth

Brgy. Ginebra capitalized on an opportunity presented by Zach Lofton’s three-minute absence due to a flagrant foul, allowing them to pull away and secure a 110-96 victory over Meralco in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup, Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Gin Kings broke away from a close 53-50 score at the beginning of the second half to pull off the bounce back win which brought them to a tie with San Miguel for fourth place at 5-3,

After a two-game losing streak, coach Tim Cone and his charges are determined to regain momentum and strengthen their chances in the playoffs as they face the TNT Tropang Giga in the main event of the ArenaPlus Christmas Day double-header.

“Twice-to-beat in the quarters is a huge advantage, and we want to be in the Top 4 to get that,” said Cone during the post-game presser.

The team prepared themselves for the Christmas Day clash by securing a victory against the Bolts, thanks to the significant contribution of their star combo guard Scottie Thompson.

Cone also acknowledged that his players faced a tough challenge from Meralco, who were performing well recently.

“The guys were challenged to come out tonight,” said Cone.

The Bolts’ record fell to 6-2 as Lofton was effectively neutralized and limited to just 23 points after scoring 54 and 30 points in his first two games.

Lofton initially performed well in the first half but had to leave the court due to a flagrant foul. Upon his return, he struggled to regain his rhythm.

During Lofton’s brief absence, the Gin Kings dominated the Bolts, establishing a commanding 15-point lead towards the end of the third quarter.

The defending champs continued their dominating performance, with key players Thompson, Tony Bishop, Christian Standhardinger, Maverick Ahanmisi, and Jamie Malonzo all contributing significantly.

Ahanmisi emerged as the top scorer, tallying 25 points along with three rebounds and three assists.

Thompson made an impressive comeback from injury, contributing 21 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. Standhardinger also had a remarkable performance, scoring 21 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and dishing out seven assists, coming close to a triple-double.

Malonzo played a crucial role in their second-half surge, finishing with 17 points. Bishop struggled early and finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

The scores:

Brgy. Ginebra 110 – Ahanmisi 25, Thompson 21, Standhardinger 21, Malonzo 17, Bishop 12, Pringle 7, J. Aguilar 7, Tenorio 0, Onwubere 0.

Meralco 96 – Lofton 23, Hodge 17, Black 14, Quinto 10, Maliksi 10, Newsome 9, Almazan 6, Pascual 4, Banchero 3, Rios 0, Torres 0, Bates 0.

Quarterscores: 24-25, 53-50, 84-75, 110-96.

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