Meralco stops Brgy. Ginebra’s 2-game win streak

Meralco showcased a defensive clinic as they outplayed Brgy. Ginebra, 91-73, to break a two-game losing streak in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday, March 15.

From the opening tip-off until the final buzzer, the Bolts dominated the game with a combination of sharp shooting and lockdown defense that held the Gin Kings, who had been averaging 107.5 points in their previous two victories, to their lowest scoring output of the season.

While Meralco’s defense was the standout of the game, Allein Maliksi took charge on the offensive end for the Bolts, scoring 25 points including four three-pointers. Chris Newsome also made a significant contribution with 19 points, six rebounds, and four assists.

The highlight of the game was undoubtedly Meralco’s suffocating defense, which limited Brgy. Ginebra to just 27 points in the first half. This defensive performance was particularly impressive against a talented team that typically scores much higher.

The absence of Scottie Thompson likely impacted the crowd darlings’ performance, as they struggled to break through Meralco’s defense. Even Jamie Malonzo, who had been the Gin Kings’ leading scorer in the previous two games with an average of 24.5 points, was held to just four points on 2-of-10 shooting.

Meralco’s defense held Brgy. Ginebra to a 33% shooting percentage and forced 19 turnovers, while committing only six errors themselves. The Gin Kings’ total of 73 points was their lowest since a previous loss to Phoenix.

At one point, Meralco held a commanding 31-point lead, 71-40, in the third quarter after a three-pointer from Maliksi, effectively sealing the victory as Brgy. Ginebra’s trademark resilience was nowhere to be seen.

Maverick Ahanmisi led the Gin Kings with 14 points, while Christian Standhardinger and Japeth Aguilar added 13 points each.

Brgy. Ginebra’s record now stands at 2-1, while Meralco improved to 2-3 going into the All-Star and Holy Week break.

The scores:

Meralco 91 – Maliksi 25, Newsome 19, Black 12, Mendoza 8, Banchero 5, Hodge 4, Quinto 4, Pasaol 4, Almazan 3, Caram 2, Rios 2, Pascual 2, Dario 1, Torres 0.

Barangay Ginebra 73 – Ahanmisi 14, Standhardinger 13, J. Aguilar 13, David 8, Onwubere 6, Malonzo 4, Tenorio 3, Pessumal 3, Gumaru 2, R. Aguilar 2, Pringle 2, Pinto 1, Cu 0.

Quarterscores: 23-14, 46-27, 76-52, 91-73.

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