NO one was practically breathing as Barangay Ginebra San Miguel mounted a fiery comeback from 21 points down against a determined Meralco Bolts side.
However, the fightback fell short as the Gin Kings lost to the Bolts, 106-104, in a game at the Mall of Asia Arena that didn’t end until the final possession when Kings guard Stanley Pringle missed a step-back jump shot in the game’s final possession.
With the nail-biting victory, the Bolts earn a trip to the semifinals of the 2022 Philippine Cup of the Philippine Basketball Association opposite another SMC squad, the mighty San Miguel Beermen, for a best-of-seven semifinal series.
interestingly, the PBA Philippine Cup Final Four will feature two teams from two of the country’s biggest corporate rivals, the San Miguel Corp. and the MVP Group of Companies.
The other semis pairing will feature the Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots against defending Philippine Cup champion TNT Tropang Giga.
But what else is new?
It was a hard-earned but sweet victory for Meralco, the Kings’ bitter rivals, who have neve went past Ginebra in any playoff round since 2016 when the Gin Kings grabbed the Governors Cup title with their resident super import Justin Brownlee.
However, the story is different now.
Against the Beermen, the Bolts will have to pull out all the stops if it were to triumph against San Miguel Beer, especially with the return of a completely rejuvenated June Mar Fajardo, the only basketball player in history to have won the Most Valuable Player award for six consecutive times.
Game One of the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup semis will be played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, where TNT will meet Magnolia at 3 p.m., followed by the faceoff between the Meralco Bolts and the San Miguel Beermen at 6 p.m.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Philippine Basketball Association – pba.ph)