Meralco equalized its Philippine Basketball Association semifinal series against Ginebra, through a 95-77 Game 2 win last night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
The Bolts outscored the Barangay, 53-27, in the final 24 minutes to turn a 42-50 halftime deficit into an 18-point rout.
Chris Newsome led Meralco with 16 points, four rebounds, six assists, and one steal, to tie the best-of-five series against Ginebra at one game apiece.
Bong Quinto and Allein Maliksi each added 14 points.
Cliff Hodge had a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds with one assist and two steals, while Raymond Almazan also put up a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds with one assist.
Japeth Aguilar made 17 points, eight rebounds, and two assists for Ginebra.
Facing the dim prospect of falling 0-2 down in the race-to-three series, the Bolts came alive in the third period, completed a big 95-77 fightback win and thus instead sent the series back to scratch.
The Bolts and the Kings will break the standoff in the pivotal Game Three Sunday at the AUF Sports Center Powered by Smart 5G.
“We just talked about the reality that we could not go down 0-2 in the series. We would not have a chance to come back from that deficit against Ginebra,” Meralco coach Norman Black said.
“We made a few adjustments and the guys executed very well. We had a lot more balance in this game, with a lot of guys scoring. That gave us a big lift,” Black added.
“We knew we had to come out with a lot of energy than the first game. Lots of guys came out and stepped up,” Newsome said.*PNA/SB