Ahanmisi rises to the occasion, Banchero fades

May 30, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines – As Barangay  Ginebra overcame Meralco in Game 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday night, 89 to 84, the team moved closer to making it to the PBA Philippine Cup finals.

The Kings were down by as much as 15 points, 59 to 44, in the third minute of play, but they rallied just before the half was over, winning 69 to 67 because to a long-range shot by LA Tenorio. 

After then, Christian Standhardinger took over, making one clutch jump shot after another to give the Kings a 3 to 2 lead back in the best-of-seven series.

In the sixth contest on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Ginebra will now try to shut out Meralco in order to set up a championship series with the reigning champion San Miguel.

AHANMISI RECEIVES A SHARED SHADE OF LIMELIGHT. Maverick Ahanmisi came up when Scottie Thompson was struggling to buy a basket once more. After joining the team as an unrestricted free agency during the off-season, the seasoned player from the Caribbean recorded 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists while playing off the bench. In Games 1, 2, and 3, he started in the past. Following in the footsteps of Stanley Pringle in Game 1 and LA Tenorio in Game 4, Ahanmisi is now taking a turn to help Ginebra, teaming up with Standhardinger to help the Kings overcome a 15-point Third Quarter deficit.

A FIERY START AFTER BANCHERO FIZZLES OUT. Chris Banchero had a scorching start, finishing the first half with 16 points, but his weapons were quiet the remainder of the game. The guard from Fil-Italy would end up with 18 points despite only scoring two in the second half. He shot 4-of-7 from long range and 7-of-20 from the field, but he made no shots in the second half. After the half, the Kings did not try to contain the explosive Banchero, as head coach Tim Cone said it was hard to keep up the tempo set by the Meralco guard in both initial quarters and that Banchero would eventually calm off. Tim the coach was right. However, Banchero ended with the most assists for his team—six.

A LONGER RESPITE THAN WHAT SMB HAD TO WAIT UNTIL FINALS? Early finalist and defending champion San Miguel will remain idle for about two weeks before to Game 1 of the championship series if it is accurate that the best-of-seven finals won’t begin until June 5. After defeating the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on May 24 in their semifinal series, the Beermen decided to take the day off on Saturday and Sunday. Awaiting the conclusion of the Ginebra-Meralco series, the league has not yet confirmed the agreed-upon date. On Wednesday, the Kings will play Game 6 of the series with a 3 to 2 lead. If needed, Game 7 will take place on Friday, May 31, at San Jose, Batangas’ FPJ Arena.

CAN STATISTICAL PROBABILITY BE FOUND RIGHT ANOTHER TIME? PBA Chief Statistician Fidel Mangonon III reports that 47 out of 62 teams who prevailed in Game 5 of a best-of-seven series following a 2 to 2 tie went on to win the series, or 76 percent of the cases. At a peak of 83 percent, this achievement was made in 19 out of the 23 occurrences that occurred in the last ten years. Is Barangay Ginebra capable of handling this? Or will Meralco be one of the people that chooses to ignore the data?

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