Ginebra zaps Meralco to lock in No. 3 playoff spot

MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra secured the No. 3 placing heading into the quarterfinals with an 86-76 triumph over the also-ran Meralco in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, March 27. 

Greg Slaughter delivered 18 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks as the Gin Kings won their fourth straight game to improve to 7-3.

Even if Ginebra drops its final elimination round game against NorthPort and figures in a three-way tie with San Miguel and TNT at 7-4, it will still lock in on the No. 3 spot due to a superior quotient.

Japeth Aguilar delivered 12 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists while Kevin Ferrer and Jeff Chan chipped in 11 points apiece in the win that saw the Gin Kings lead by as large as 15 points. 

The Bolts, though, did not go down without a fight as they shaved their deficit to just 6 points off a Trevis Jackson and-one, 73-79, with 2:21 minutes remaining.

But Ginebra immediately dashed Meralco's hopes of a comeback by scoring 7 straight points to seal the deal. 

Scottie Thompson put up 6 points and 10 rebounds and LA Tenorio added 8 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds for the Gin Kings. 

Jackson paced the Bolts – who were officially eliminated from playoff contention after dropping to 3-8 – with 18 points off 3 triples on top of 4 rebounds and 1 steal. 

Cliff Hodge and KG Canaleta had 12 and 10 points, respectively, and conjoined for 10 rebounds in the loss. 

The Scores

Ginebra 86 – Slaughter 18, Aguilar J. 12, Chan 11, Ferrer 11, Tenorio 8, Dela Cruz 6, Thompson 6, Mariano 5, Mercado 5, Caguioa 2, Aguilar R. 2, Caperal 0, Teodoro 0.

Meralco 76 – Jackson 18, Hodge 12, Canaleta 10, De Ocampo 7, Quinto 6, Salva 5, Jamito 4, Tolomia 4, Newsome 3, Amer 3, Hugnatan 2, Pinto 2, Faundo 0, Caram 0.

Quarters: 15-17, 35-34, 63-50, 86-76.

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.