Brgy. Ginebra opened its campaign in the semifinal round of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup with a rousing 96-79 victory over Meralco, Wednesday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga.
The Gin Kings, who swept the Bolts in three Governors’ Cup championship clashes, reasserted their mastery over the Norman Black-mentored squad by coasting to an easy 17-point win in Game 1 of the best-of-five series.
Six players scored in double digits for the crowd darlings with Stanley Pringle leading the way with 19 points to go with 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 30 minutes of action.
“To me, it was a great team game. Stanley played great, he deserved [the] Player of the Game (award), but there were a lot of contributions out there. We did a lot better offensively than I thought we would against their defense,” said head coach Tim Cone during the post-game press conference.
“Meralco is a team on a mission, and we interrupted that for one day, but hopefully we can continue to interrupt it. We played a really, really excellent game tonight. We aren’t that good and they aren’t that bad. So we’re going to see a much better Game 2, that’s for darn sure. So as important as it was to get Game 1, right now we gotta forget it and get ready for Game 2. Just play what’s in front of us. We have to worry about what’s in front of us, not what’s behind. So Game 2 is in front of us, that’s what our focus will be,” he added.
Scottie Thompson narrowly missed a triple-double as the energetic guard finished with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals and a block. Rookie Arvin Tolentino also had 13 points highlighted by 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. LA Tenorio and Aljon Mariano added 11 points apiece while Prince Caperal chipped in 10.
Game 2 of the series is set on Friday, November 20 at the same venue.
Brgy. Ginebra 96 – Pringle 19, Thompson 13, Tolentino 13, Tenorio 11, Mariano 11, Caperal 10, J. Aguilar 9, Dillinger 4, Dela Cruz 2, Devance 2, Balanza 2, Salado 0, Chan 0, R. Aguilar 0.
Meralco 79 – Maliksi 24, Newsome 13, Hugnatan 9, Black 8, Pinto 6, Hodge 4, Jamito 4, Almazan 3, Faundo 2, Salva 2, Amer 2, Quinto 2, Jackson 0, Caram 0.
Quarterscores: 21-17; 48-36; 71-54; 96-79.