PBA Finals: Meralco bench steps up on the road
Paul Lintag on Jan 12, 2020 06:59 AM
While 29 points might not seem much, the Bolts’ reserves still outscored that of the Gin Kings by 17 points. (PBA)
Meralco’s bench definitely came to play in Lucena for Game 2 of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup against Barangay Ginebra.
While 29 points might not seem much, the Bolts’ reserves still outscored that of the Gin Kings by 17 points.
In fact, John Pinto’s first-quarter output matched that of Ginebra’s reserves for the whole game.
Subbing in for Baser Amer, Pinto was a perfect 4/4 from three-point range in the opening quarter, sparking a 30-8 run by Meralco after their first timeout of the game.
That was the first of two major rallies for the Bolts on their way to a big Game 2 victory.
“Syempre parang nagulat, kasi ang role ko naman dito is to defend,” Pinto said on his perfect shooting in that huge first quarter.
“Syempre kailangan natin tumulong sa team, yun naman ang kailangan natin,” he added.
Also coming up big for the Bolts was Nico Salva, who came in the third and help provide some much-needed offense.
As the Gin Kings started to rally from 17 points down, Salva scored all of his nine points in the third to help keep Ginebra at bay.
“That was huge, yung first touch ko was an open mid-range jumper. For that to go in, for a player na hindi nakalaro the game before, that really boosts your confidence,” Salva said.
“Thankfuly, I was able to make some shots. Nards Pinto made some threes so that was big for us,” he added.
Consistency from the bench will be a key factor for the Bolts for the rest of the series.
Meralco’s reserves know they’ll have to keep applying to pressure to Ginebra.
“Kasi nung Game 1, kaya siguro natalo kami, kasi yung second group wala talagang naitulong,” Pinto said.
“So ngayon lahat naman kami si Nico, si Anjo [Caram] nagtulong-tulong kami para makuha namin yung panalo,” he added.
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