May 23, 2024

Revved-up Bolts seek pivotal 3-1 lead vs embattled Gin Kings

MERALCO has seized the upper hand versus an obviously tired, crippled Barangay Ginebra side, and it's on the Bolts to make it an imposing 3-1 lead in their PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinal series at the MOA Arena Friday.

The absence of ace Ginebra wing guys is taking its toll on the team, and Meralco definitely wants to capitalize in a bid to make it three in a row and get in a good position to enter the finals.

Game time is at 4:30 p.m.

The two teams have a short turnaround time from Game Three - less than 48 hours -- and the Bolts are determined to make the most of the situation versus the Kings who are now dealing with the issue of fatigue.

"No letdown," said Meralco coach Luigi Trillo on their best weapon to beat the Kings, badly shorthanded minus the injury-hit Jamie Malonzo and Jeremiah Gray.

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Minus Malonzo and Gray, the likes of Christian Standhardinger, Japeth Aguilar, Stanley Pringle and Scottie Thompson are carrying burdens a lot more than before.

And in their tough grind in all these years, fatigue seems to be catching up.

There's their tough effort in winning Game One, 92-88. They also had to dig deep in an effort to salvage Game Two, and they looked terribly winded down in Game Three.

Allein Maliksi and his teammates took the opening quarter at 31-18 and gallantly hung on to it on the way to an 87-80 victory and the 2-1 series lead Wednesday at the Dasmarinas Arena in Cavite.

But Trillo isn't comfortable with that lead, stressing they still have a tough job at hand.

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He's wary of Ginebra but at the same time optimistic on what Meralco can do.

"We know Ginebra is capable (of coming back) but we're also capable (of standing our ground)," said Trillo.(SB)