Meralco ousts Ginebra to barge into semis of PBA Philippine Cup

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The Meralco Bolts finally pulled a win over the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the playoffs, coming away with a 106-104 victory to oust the crowd darlings and barge into the semifinals of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup on Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Raymond Almazan was the unlikely hero for the Bolts, as he drained a straightaway three-pointer that gave Meralco back the lead after an LA Tenorio triple on the previous possession shoved Ginebra in front after trailing by as much as 21 points.

The Bolts then watched as Ginebra guard Stanley Pringle missed a wide open perimeter jumper that would have tied the game.

“We are super relieved na we got the monkey off our back,” said Meralco assistant coach Luigi Trillo, who took over coaching duties for the squad with head coach Norman Black still in the United States following the death of his mother.

Chris Newsome was awesome all game long as he finished with a triple-double of 21 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds. Aaron Black added 17 markers.

Cliff Hodge played with his trademark energy and hustle, getting 18 rebounds to go with 13 points. He also drew an offensive foul on Ginebra star Scottie Thompson that fouled the latter out of the ballgame with 10 seconds remaining.

Allein Maliksi finished with 12 points, while Almazan, Bong Quinto, and Alvin Pasaol had 11 points each.

Thompson had 26 points, Christian Standhardinger added 23, while Japeth Aguilar produced 21 for the Kings.

The semifinals will see the Bolts taking on the San Miguel Beermen, while the TNT Tropang Giga battles the Magnolia Hotshots.

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