Meralco makes first trip to PBA semis
MANILA, Philippines – Meralco smothered Barako Bull for an easy 86-68 win and achieved a first in franchise history by booking a trip to the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals.
The Bolts’ stifling defense was too much for the Energy Colas, whose high scoring import Mike Singletary was limited to a single-digit output.
Singletary, who averages at least 36 points per game, couldn’t do more than nine points against Mario West, who tallied a game-high 25 markers for Meralco.
“It was really our defense. It made our game a lot easier. Our defense held up tremendously tonight,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio in the PBA website.
The win propelled the Bolts, armed with a twice-to-beat bonus against the Energy Colas, to the franchise’s first PBA semifinals appearance.
Barako Bull was held to a measly 20-of-72 field goal attempts. Making it worse for the Energy Colas was its below-par free throw output of 10 of 30.
Ronjay Buenafe topscored Barako Bull with 23 points, while Keith Jensen added 10. The rest of the team, however, failed to deliver offensively.
Meralco, on the other hand, got 18 points from Reynel Hugnatan, who also tallied 12 rebounds. Mark Cardona and Cliff Hodge added 10 points each.
Meralco 86 – West 25, Hugnatan 18, Cardona 12, Hodge 10, Wilson 8, Cortez 6, Salvacion 3, Ross 2, Dillinger 2, Sena 0, Timberlake 0, Reyes 0.
Barako Bull 68 – Buenafe 23, Jensen 10, Singletary 9, Seigle 9, Weinstein 5, Marcelo 2, Intal 2, Macapagal 2, Cruz 2, Villanueva 2, Pennisi 2, Pena 0.
Quarterscores: 21-15, 44-27, 67-53, 86-68