GAME Two of the PBA 46th Season Governors’ Cup is slated to be played on Friday night, with the scene shifting to the Mall of Asia Arena. Incidentally, the venue was where Ginebra was crowned as champion during the 2019 season where it beat Meralco in Game Five of the series, 105-93.
Ginebra vs Meralco Game 2 preview
Ginebra though will need to rekindle that winning feeling at the Mall of Asia Arena for Game Two after the Kings lost to the Bolts, 104-91, on Wednesday. Meralco will now be eyeing a 2-0 lead in Friday’s titular showdown.
Let’s review what happened in Game One, and a couple of things to look forward to in Game Two.
GAME ONE WINNERS
According to PBA statistics chief Fidel Mangonon, 60 out of the 88 Game One winners in a best-of-seven finals series went on to win the championship.
The Bolts had an excellent shooting night in Game One, converting 51 percent of their shots (42-of-81). They picked up where they left off in Game Five of the semifinals against Magnolia where they shot 46 percent. They also limited the Gin Kings to only 38 percent from the field (31-of-81) in Game One. Meralco also had more points in the paint, 52-36. Can they sustain this production in Game Two?
CLIFF HODGE STEPS UP OFFENSIVELY
More known for his defense and hustle plays, Cliff Hodge stepped up off the bench in putting the ball to the hoop, scoring a conference-high 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field. Meralco coach Norman Black expects adjustments by Ginebra as far as defending Hodge is concerned.
BROWNLEE SHOOTING WOES
Justin Brownlee had 27 points in Ginebra’s Game One defeat, which actually isn’t bad. But Brownlee would definitely want to improve on his 7-of-20 clip from the field, which at 35 percent is his worst shooting game of the conference. Meralco coach Norman Black said Brownlee still put on an excellent showing, and will have to defend the import again for Game Two.
BISHOP BACK TO HIS SCORING WAYS
Tony Bishop made up for his offensive struggles in Game Five of the semifinals against Magnolia as he hit 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. His presence was felt in the third quarter where he had 12 points.
It was a back-to-back 20-point night for Allein Maliksi, who picked up where he left off in Game Five of the semifinals against Magnolia, scoring 22 points in the finals opener against Ginebra. Maliksi also shot 5-of-7 from threes after nailing six in the knockout game against the Hotshots.
SOLID FINALS DEBUT FOR BLACK
Aaron Black scored the first two points of the ballgame for Meralco, and it set the tone for his solid performance with 12 points, six rebounds, and three assists.
THEY SAID IT
Norman Black: “Because I’ve been on the losing end so many times in this conference, I’m just taking it one game at a time. We got the first game and I’m going to look at the first game like it’s 0-0. We have to get the second game.”
Tim Cone: “Frankly, we were terrible. They were great. They looked prepared and motivated. We looked as if we were taking a walk in the park. We are hoping we can turn that around in Game Two. Needless to say, we don’t want to fall into a 2-0 hole.”
TOLENTINO, JOSE SUMMONED
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial has summoned Arvin Tolentino and Raymar Jose for their role in a scuffle late and even after Game One of the finals series. Jose and Tolentino were called for technical fouls late in the match, and their exchange spilled over to the hallway at the Big Dome shortly thereafter.
Lost in the Game One defeat was Scottie Thompson’s triple-double effort after he finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. It was Thompson’s second triple-double of the conference after he had a 20-13-11 against Terrafirma last February 27.
Christian Standhardinger notched his fifth consecutive double-double with his 20-point, 14-rebound night against Meralco in Game One.
LA TENORIO OFF-NIGHT
The Barangay Ginebra veteran struggled in Game One with LA Tenorio scoring a conference-low five points on 1-of-8 from the field, and his presence is definitely needed on Friday night. During the semifinals, he was averaging 14.5 points against NLEX.