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Meralco Rolls Past Ginebra, Levels PBA Philippine Cup Semis at 1-1

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Meralco Bolts recovered from a slow start to score a 95-77 victory over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings in Game 2 of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Friday night at the AUF Sports Arena & Cultural Center in Pampanga.

Chris Newsome top-scored with 16 points, six assists and four rebounds, while Allein Maliksi and Kier John Quinto contributed 14 markers apiece as the Bolts tied the best-of-five series at 1-1.

Clifford Hodge chipped in double-double 12 points and 11 rebounds, Raymond Almazan also had his double-double of 11 markers and 11 boards and Baser Amer contributed 10 for the Bolts.

The Bolts struggled on offense early as they trail 16-24 before mounting a huge run to take a 30-29 lead on a three-point play by Almazan. The Kings, however, managed to pull away anew for a 50-42 halftime edge.

Ginebra went on to build a 55-42 lead in the third quarter but Meralco leaned on offense by Maliksi, Newsome and Hodge for a 61-60 edge before widening it to 65-61 on back-to-back hits by Almazan.

The Bolts continued its run in the fourth period for a 77-67 advantage on baskets from Maliksi and Reynel Hugnatan before build its largest edge at 91-70 on a two-pointer by Newsome.

Japeth Aguilar finished with 17 points, LA Tenorio added 16 markers, all in the opening half, while Earl Scottie Thompson ended up with 10 points and nine rebounds for the Kings.

BOX SCORE:

MERALCO 95 – Newsome 16, Maliksi 14, Quinto 14, Hodge 12, Almazan 11, Amer 10, Hugnatan 9, Pinto 3, Black 2, Caram 2, Jamito 2, Faundo 0, Jose 0, Salva 0.

GINEBRA 77 – J. Aguilar 17, Tenorio 16, Thompson 10, Tolentino 9, Pringle 9, Caperal 6, Mariano 4, Salado 4, Caguioa 2, Dillinger 0, Dela Cruz 0, Devance 0, Balanza 0.

Quarterscores: 23-27, 42-50, 65-61, 95-77.

PHOTO: Meralco Bolts’ Chris Newsome attacks the defense of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings’ Earl Scottie Thompson. PBA PHOTO.