MERALCO tries to keep the energy up and get back-to-back wins as Barangay Ginebra hopes to bounce back and regain control of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series in Game Three on Sunday at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center.
Level after two games, the Bolts and the Gin Kings face off anew in the best-of-five semifinal series at 6:30 p.m.
Meralco forged a tie in the series after a huge 95-77 victory on Friday afternoon behind big games from Allein Maliksi and Raymond Almazan.
Maliksi maintained his offensive production in the series with 14 points in Game Two, while Almazan played his best game of the series with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Norman Black noted the importance of Maliksi and Almazan playing consistently in the series.
“Those two guys are a big addition to our team. They are a big part of our team. We need Allein to score for us to be successful. We need for Raymond to have a presence in the middle for us to be successful. They did their jobs (in Game Two). But of course, the job is not done yet. We need to win two more games,” said Black.
Four other players led by Chris Newsome scored in double figures as the Kings struggled to contain the Bolts.
“The only thing I got to say is that they beat us black and blue,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone. They attacked the rim all night and we didn’t have an answer for it defensively. We lived up to our shooting in the first half, and our shooting dried up in the second half.”
Japeth Aguilar had 17 points for Ginebra, but the biggest factor in the loss was the struggles of Stanley Pringle, who only had nine in the match.