Stanley, Japeth take charge as Gin Kings force KO Game 3

Meralco’s Chris Newsome suffers a bad fall in the physical Game 2.

STANLEY PRINGLE was back in his elements on Friday to help Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to a 94-87 triumph over Meralco and force a winner-take-all Game 3 in their Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup quarterfinals series at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.  

Pringle, who averaged only 8.2 points in the eliminations where he was plagued with injuries—scattered five of his nine points at crunch time to prevent Meralco from advancing to the best-of-seven semifinals via a sweep.

 Game 3 is on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

“This game wasn’t for boys. This was a man’s game today. It was physical. It was a rough tumble,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said. “There was blood on the floor. They’re trying to do something that they haven’t done against us and we know that.”

The game went physical almost all afternoon long with Meralco’s topscorer Cliff Hodge getting his face bloodied.

High-leaping Japeth Aguilar led the Gin Kings with 25 points, including eight points in the final quarter, and grabbed eight rebounds along with five blocks. Christian Standhardinger added 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.    

Pringle doused cold water on Meralco’s late rally with a layup and a three-pointer for a 94-86 Ginebra lead with under two minutes remaining.

“We have so much respect for them. They’re showing their desire by the way they are coming out and playing physicality,” Cone said. “We just tried to match that physicality,.”

Scottie Thompson had 11 points, nine assists and six rebounds for the Gin Kings.

Ginebra held a 56-44 lead at the halt but the Bolts a high voltage game in the third quarter where they unleashed a 26-13 rally to grab the upperhand, 71-69, entering the payoff period.

But the Gin Kings stood tall in the pivotal quarter to save their campaign.

Hodge put up conference-high 25 points to lead the Bolts.   

Image credits: Rudy Esperas


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