Japeth Aguilar banged in a game-high 25 points as the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings held off the Meralco Bolts, 94-84, on Friday in Game 2 of their best-of three quarterfinal series in the 2022 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the FilOil Ecocenter in San Juan.
Aguilar’s dunk in the last 2:10 gave the Gin Kings a seven-point cushion during a physical match with the Bolts.
Christian Standhardinger had 15 points for the Gin Kings, who can clinch a semifinal berth if they hurdle the Bolts for the second time on Sunday.
“We got to put on another performance like we did today. This game wasn’t for boys,” said Gin Kings’ coach Tim Cone after they equalized the series at 1-all.
Standhardinger’s three-point play in the last 5:35 signalled the Gin Kings’ final push to move out of range as they grabbed a four-point edge, 83-79.
Cliff Hodge fired 25 points for the Bolts, who took Game 1 with a 93-82 victory. Hodge was backed up by Allein Maliksi and Alvin Pasaol, who knocked in 14 points each.
Cone said it was not easy getting past the Bolts.
“This was a man’s game. It was physical, rough and tumble,” said Cone.
“There was blood on the floor, and they were doing things that they have not done to us before,” he added.
TNT booked the first seat in the Philippine Cup semifinals after clobbering Converge, 116-95, in their quarterfinal game on Wednesday, while the top-seeded San Miguel Beermen followed them to the next round after getting past the Blackwater Elite Bossings, 123-93.