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first_imgFrom way down, in the depths of the No. 7 seed, Meralco completed its rise to reach the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals.ADVERTISEMENT “Guys started to buy in again and all of a sudden we started defending well,” explained Black.Meanwhile, coach Tim Cone has Barangay Ginebra’s well-oiled machine humming so well, it would be a shame if they’re unable to ride the momentum all the way to the crown.“We’re playing well and we hope we could sustain it,” the grizzled tactician said last Tuesday shortly after steering the defending conference champions Gin Kings to the semifinals.And in their path is a very familiar foe.“We got Magnolia next. It’s always an incredible series. It’s game by game just incredible,” Cone said.The Gin Kings and the Hotshots, the protagonists of a modern-day rivalry that has its own moniker, “Manila Clasico,” figure in a best-of-five semifinal series that tips off Saturday, 6:30 p.m. at Ynares Center in Antipolo.“It’s nice to be back in the semifinals,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero. “We missed the semifinals last conference.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Baser Amer figured in the Meralco’s blistering start in overtime, draining back-to-back triples that generated separation from Phoenix, 102-94.But Matthew Wright and Calvin Abueva combined for a last-ditch effort to snare what could’ve been a franchise milestone for the Fuel Masters: A semifinal berth.The duo had Phoenix within four, 104-100, but Durham had other plans. After anchoring the Bolts’ defense, he went on to drill the two freebies that sealed the deal for Meralco.“A lot of this turnaround was built on the production of Allen, who was really really strong for us,” Black said.The Bolts won their sixth straight game—all of them do-or-die—after a 1-6 start. And Black credited the Bolts’ resurgence to a renewed commitment to defense.ADVERTISEMENT View comments LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Frantic UAAP Final 4 footrace Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew The Bolts scored the first eight points of overtime and then weathered a strong Phoenix fight-back to forge a pulsating 108-103 quarterfinal victory Friday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The Bolts burned through the Fuel Masters’ twice-to-beat edge to set a date with Alaska in their half of the semifinal bracket. The two teams kick off their duel on Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“What a hill we had to climb to get to this point,” said coach Norman Black. “There was really not much room for error.”Allen Durham, twice recognized as best import but also twice denied of championships by Barangay Ginebra in the last two editions of this conference, refused to let go of the chance to get back at his tormentors. He registered a game-high 32 points to go with 21 rebounds.last_img read more

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