Meralco sends PBA PH Cup semis vs Ginebra to decider

Bong Quinto came alive for the Bolts in a do-or-die game. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—After his team's Game 5 win on Sunday night, Ginebra's head coach Tim Cone issued an advanced apology to the club's fans in San Jose, Batangas as he essentially vowed they would finish Meralco off in Game 6.

Well, the Batanguenos will get to see Game 7 basketball after all.

The Bolts stayed alive in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals after taking down the Gin Kings, 86-81, on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

In a game that only saw the offense picking up in the fourth quarter, Meralco got the better of Ginebra as the former opened an eight-point cushion, 82-74, with 2:11 left.

The Gin Kings took a minute before they got to score again on a Maverick Ahanmisi free throw with 1:07 remaining, although another 54 seconds elapsed before Ahanmisi hit a tough three that cut the lead down to four, 82-78, with 13 seconds to go.

Chris Newsome scored two free throws off a quick Ahanmisi foul to up the lead back to six, 84-78, with 12.1 seconds remaining.

Stanley Pringle had one last gasp for Ginebra as he hit a pick-and-pop three with six seconds to play, but Newsome hit two more charities to put away the game for Meralco.

Bong Quinto led the Bolts with 23 points on 9-for-16 shooting, three rebounds, and one assist, while Newsome added 21 points, four rebounds, and three assists.

Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger each tallied 19 markers for the Gin Kings.

The rubber match will occur Friday night at the FPJ Arena in San Jose.

The Scores:

MERALCO 86 – Quinto 23, Newsome 21, Maliksi 14, Hodge 10, Banchero 9, Almazan 7, Bates 2, Pascual 0, Caram 0, Jose 0

GINEBRA 81 – J.Aguilar 19, Standhardinger 19, Ahanmisi 13, Pringle 12, Thompson 9, Tenorio 3, Pinto 3, Cu 3, Murrell 0, Pessumal 0, 

QUARTERS: 19-18, 38-37, 54-53, 86-81

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