Meralco exacted sweet revenge on elimination round tormentor San Miguel and in the process secured a ticket into the next round.
The Bolts kept the Beermen at bay all game long on the way to a 100-85 victory in the quarterfinals of the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup, Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City
Tony Bishop scored a game-high 32 points to go with 16 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks in 44 minutes of action to lead the Norman Black-mentored squad to the final four of the season-ending conference.
SMB reinforcement Shabazz Muhammad, who dropped 57 points on the Bolts during their elimination round game, was held to 24 markers on 8-of-19 shooting from the field including 0-of-6 from long distance. He also committed a game-high 5 turnovers.
“The whole focus was, after what happened to us in the elimination round, try and slow down Shabazz and not allow him to get another 57 points on us. We were hoping to hold him down to 30. That would be a good number,” said Meralco coach Norman Black during the post-game presser.
“Having the four days of practice gave us a lot of time to try different defenses during the week and… most of them worked tonight against them. So hats off to my players for not just learning what we were doing in practice, but executing it today in the game.”
“It’s a great team effort. Tony Bishop really played well tonight. He shot the basketball well from the perimeter. I think everybody did their job in contributing to this win. It’s nice to be back in the semis again,” added Black. “It’s not every day you beat a powerhouse San Miguel team so it’s a good win for us,” he added.
Terrence Romeo led the local charge for SMB with 17 points but the former league scoring champion could only convert 33% (7-of-21) of his attempts. CJ Perez and June Mar Fajardo chipped in 12 markers apiece. Starters Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter and Vic Manuel were limited to 6, 5 and 4 points, respectively.
Meralco 100 – Bishop 32, Newsome 22, Banchero 9, Hugnatan 9, Almazan 8, Maliksi 6, Black 4, Hodge 4, Quinto 4, Baclao 2, Jose 0, Caram 0.
San Miguel 85 – Muhammad 24, Romeo 17, Fajardo 12, Perez 12, Ross 6, Lassiter 5, Brondial 5, Manuel 4, Tautuaa 0. Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 26-26, 48-40, 79-61, 100-85.