The race for second place just got interesting after Meralco beat Rain or Shine, 82-72, in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The win snapped the Bolts’ six-game losing skid. They now hold a 3-7 card, while Rain or Shine slid down to 5-4, tied with Phoenix, TNT Ka Tropa and Barangay Ginebra — the second spot now up for grabs.
Speaking of the Gin Kings, they finally recorded back-to-back wins in the conference after disposing Blackwater, 99-90, in the main game.
Roi Sumang had another great performance off the bench, scoring 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting, but it still wasn’t enough for the Elite (5-5).
Scottie Thompson (Ginebra): 13 points (57%), 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals
One notable play from Thompson came at the 4:42 mark of the fourth quarter. He sliced into the lane for a layup to cap a 11-2 run by the Gin Kings after Blackwater had tied the game at 82-all. That pretty much sealed the deal for Ginebra.
Honorable mention: Cliff Hodge (17 points, 54% FG, 16 rebounds, 4 blocks)
Art dela Cruz (Blackwater): 7 points (3-14 FG), 5 TOs
Entering the Ginebra game, he was averaging 13.6 points, while shooting over 50% from the field. But it was a dismal night for Art in the scoring department. He did grab 12 boards and dished out 5 assists. But he also turned the ball over 5 times.
Quote of the night
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rebounding guard like him… I think eventually he can put up Westbrook numbers.” — Tim Cone on Scottie Thompson
What’s in a number?
72 — The number of points Rain or Shine scored. It was the Elasto Painters’ lowest output over the last 7 conferences, according to PBA statistician Fidel Mangonon.
Before he suffered a minor elbow injury, Japeth Aguilar had an amazing dunk in the first half of Ginebra’s win over Blackwater. After LA Tenorio missed from downtown, Aguilar swooped in for the putback slam.
Photo from PBA Media Bureau