Meralco put an end to San Miguel’s quest to defend the Philippine Cup by defeating the five-time reigning champions, 90-68 in Game 2 of their quarterfinal series, Sunday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga.
The Bolts followed up their 78-71 Game 1 conquest with a more convincing victory to eliminate the league’s most successful squad and advance to the semifinal round of the compressed All-Filipino conference opposite early qualifier Brgy. Ginebra.
“It’s been a real journey, starting back with the pandemic and not being able to practice and being called to practice for a short period of time and then actually having to play not really knowing what’s going to happen,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black during the post-game press conference.
“We got off to a slow start this conference but we were able to pick it up as we got in better shape. I’m just happy for my players. I’m happy for management. I’m happy for the company that we got to the semis in the all-Filipino,” added the former SMB player and mentor.
Marcio Lassiter and Mo Tautuaa paced the Beermen, who competed in the PBA bubble without main man June Mar Fajardo, flashy guard Terrence Romeo and high-leaping Fil-Am Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, with 20 points apiece while Arwind Santos added 10. Chris Ross and Alex Cabagnot contributed 7 and 6 markers, respectively.
Meralco 90 – Hodge 14, Amer 14, Hugnatan 12, Maliksi 11, Black 9, Newsome 9, Quinto 9, Almazan 8, Jackson 2, Jamito 2, Jose 0, Salva 0, Pinto 0, Caram 0.
San Miguel 68 – Lassiter 20, Tautuaa 20, Santos 10, Ross 7, Cabagnot 6, Zamar 3, Alolino 2, Pessumal 0, Comboy 0, Gamalinda 0, Escoto 0.