Home Sports Limiting Meralco duo key for Ginebra in Game 6

Limiting Meralco duo key for Ginebra in Game 6


Chris Newsome Meralco vs Ginebra PBA semis

Meralco Bolts guard Chris Newsome tries to score against Ginebra in Game 5 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.–PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—If Ginebra wants to close out Meralco in Game 6 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, the Gin Kings will have to contain the Bolts’ duo of Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge.

Limiting Newsome and Hodge’s impact will be the key to a Ginebra victory on Wednesday, according to Gin Kings big man Christian Standhardinger.

“It’ll be tough. I always say, Newsome and Cliff, those guys are winners,” said Standhardinger leading Ginebra to an 89-84 comeback win in Game 5 on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

READ: PBA: Standhardinger puts premium on Ginebra success, not scoring

“I have a lot of respect for them. I played with Newsome in the national team and I played against Cliff enough times to know that he affects winning. Those guys are absolute winners and everybody on their team is following them and we need to come out there and try to match their intensity as best as possible.”

In Game 5, Newsome and Hodge combined for 31 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. Newsome, however, had an abysmal shooting night, missing 14 of his 19 attempts from the field as Meralco squandered a 15-point advantage.

“That’s the strength of them. If you try to stop them, they will make the right plays and passes. If you get to the level of basketball we’re playing, it’s all about affecting winning,” said Standhardinger, who fired a game-high 34 points that went with 10 rebounds and five assists.

READ: PBA: Fatigued Ginebra digs deep to take pivotal semis lead vs Meralco

“That’s the challenge with Cliff and Newsome, they will find ways, even if you’re prepared for them, to affect winning. That’s what we need to somehow match with our winners.”

After trailing in the series through three games, Ginebra notched back-to-back wins to move on the cusp of a third PBA Finals appearance in the last four conferences.

“It’s going to be a very, very big challenge. Nothing is done yet. This win means nothing. We need to win this series. That’s the goal,” said the 34-year-old Standhardinger.

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