Pinto leaves Meralco, signs with Ginebra

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CRAFTY point guard John Pinto has left the Meralco Bolts, signing a three-year deal with the Barangay Ginebra Kings.

An unrestricted free agent at the end of 2021, the 31-year-old declined a contract renewal with the Bolts and will now join the Philippine Basketball Association’s (PBA) most popular ballclub.

A heady guard from Arellano University, Pinto has emerged as a key cog, starting for the Bolts and averaging 8.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 19 games in the 2021 Philippine Cup. He played two games for the Bolts in the ongoing 2021 Governors’ Cup, coming up with averages of 9.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists.

The signing is a key one for Ginebra as they are missing ace guard Stanley Pringle, who will not be playing for the rest of the conference due to a knee injury.

“We wanted to provide depth to our guard position because of Stanley’s absence,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone in a tweet.

Pinto was taken in the second round of the 2014 PBA Draft by GlobalPort. He has bounced around several teams before ending up at Meralco in 2019 via trade.

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