Ginebra topples Meralco in Iloilo as Bolts extend slump

By Patrick Sutare

MANILA—Barangay Ginebra continues its streak of out-of-town victories, now at seventh in a row with Meralco being its latest casualty, 83-72, at the University of San Agustin Gym in Iloilo, Saturday in the PBA Philippine Cup.

As both squads tussled for a much needed win, the Gin Kings found groove late in the second half to break away and deal the Bolts' sixth game slide.

Establishing a 14-point lead with about two minutes to go, the crowd darlings bailed themselves out from end game lapses as Meralco's mini blast came to be a little too late to force a stunnung turn around.

Joe Devance piloted Ginebra's assault following the halftime break, steering his squad turn a 39-40 deficit to a 56-50 advantage at the end of three q's.

The veteran forward had a milestone night,  finishing with 19 points to put him as a member of the league's 5,000 point club.

Seeing yet another sluggish start, LA Tenorio went off and running to take the load offensively for Ginebra, top scoring his troop with 15 after two quarters as the Kings kept in step with the Bolts.

The nifty playmaker ended the game with 18 points as Ginebra avoided being dug up at the near bottom of the standings with an even 4-4 record.

Meralco was the complete flip of the story as the loss had them still searching the way out of the slump, suffering their seventh loss of the conference.

Reynel Hugnatan led the Bolts with 18 markers but went visibly misfiring when  needed the most, missing all but three of 14 from the field.

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