ANTIPOLO CITY — Meralco used a huge 15-0 second-quarter run and held on to beat Barangay Ginebra, 109-99, on Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup before a capacity crowd at the Ynares Center.
Cliff Hodge and Mark Macapagal backstopped a furious start in the second period to turn a 24-26 deficit into a 39-26 lead. They also combined for 17 of the 29 second-quarter points for the Bolts, who never looked back as Ginebra’s several late runs sputtered.
It was Meralco’s first-ever win at the Ynares Center in eight games, and they did it in front of a pro-Ginebra crowd at the Rizal capital which hosted its first PBA game in two years.
Meralco, which scored its fourth win in seven games, snapped a two-game skid and moved in a tie for fifth place with Talk ’N Text and Globalport.
“I’m glad the players played with the effort the desire to win. I was disappointed with our effort in Davao. But tonight, the guys bounced back and showed they have a lot of heart,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
Meralco shot well, making 50 percent of its shots (39-of-78) from the field.
“Playing against Ginebra is always difficult because they are big and talented but what made it easier was our shots were falling. That is something that has not been happening this entire conference,” said Black.
Hodge had 11 of his 18 points in the second quarter, including a perfect 3-of-3 from threes. Macapagal also added 18 while Gary David had 16, including 11 in the fourth period to help the Bolts maintain their lead.
The Gins lost for the second straight time and now hold a 5-3 win-loss card but remained in third place. The closest Ginebra got was at 103-99 but Greg Slaughter missed an easy putback that led to a jumper by Reynel Hugnatan with 55 seconds to play.
Meralco (109) – Hodge 18, Macapagal 18, David 16, Dillinger 15, Hugnatan 12, Ferriols 8, Caram 6, Atkins 4, Buenafe 4, Sena 4, Ildefonso 2, Cortez 2.
Barangay Ginebra (99) – Slaughter 26, Aguilar 18, Yeo 15, Caguioa 11, Baracael 10, Ellis 7, Tenorio 4, Mamaril 3, Brondial 3, Urbiztondo 2, Helterbrand 0, Reyes 0.
Quarterscores: 24-26; 53-44; 81-77; 109-99.