Meralco pushes Ginebra to brink of ouster in PBA Philippine Cup
MANILA, Philippines — The Meralco Bolts have sent defending champions Barangay Ginebra to the brink of an early exit in the PBA Philippine Cup after a 79-66 win in their final game of eliminations at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Thursday.
Despite being a non-bearing game for the Bolts, who have already clinched a twice-to-beat advantage as the second seed, they still took a wire-to-wire victory in the crucial match for the Gin Kings.
A 10-0 start to the game propelled the Bolts to a big advantage early, and they didn't look back.
Alvin Pasaol and Mac Belo each had 15 points to pace the Bolts to their fourth win in a row.
At their most dominant, the Bolts led by 19.
Though a fightback led by LA Tenorio in the third quarter helped Ginebra get to within four heading into the fourth quarter, 55-51, a mini run by the Bolts to begin the final salvo created space for them anew.
Late in the game, the Bolts ballooned their lead back up to 16, 79-63, with a bucket by Raymon Jamito with 2:25 left.
Ginebra thus has to rely on the Northport Batang Pier to win against the Alaska Aces in the second game of the day to prompt a playoff against the Phoenix Super LPG for the final quarterfinals slot.
If Alaska wins, the Gin Kings will be eliminated from playoff contention with the Terrafirma Dyip taking their place in the playoff against Phoenix.
Stanley Pringle and Christian Standhardinger paced the Gin Kings with 19 and 17 points, respectively, while Tenorio scattered 11.
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