The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings made the big plays at just the right time as they went on a 19-3 rampage late to seal an 86-76 victory in Game 2 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
With the win, Ginebra seized a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, needing only two more wins to clinch a second consecutive Governors’ Cup crown.
Justin Brownlee tallied 19 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists – all team-highs – while he was backed up by another terrific effort from Japeth Aguilar, who scored 16 points on 8-for-13 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds.
LA Tenorio finished with 14 points – 10 of those coming in the fourth quarter. He scored seven of the Kings’ last 11 points, including a clutch three-pointer with 1:08 remaining.
Meralco was held to just a single point in the last 5:56 of the game.
Prior to tip-off, Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter and Meralco’s Allen Durham were awarded with Best Player of the Conference and Best Import honors, respectively.
Durham did not disappoint, going for 25 points, 22 rebounds and seven assists in a terrific performance although neither he nor any of his Bolts teammates could buy a basket late in the game.
Slaughter, though, struggled for just three points on 1-for-6 shooting from the field in 33 minutes of action. He did grab six rebounds and block three shots, though he turned the ball over four times as well.
Meralco did well early, opening the game with a 17-8 start and ended the first period ahead, 24-18.
The teams then traded runs for much of the next few quarters as the two finalists went back and forth in a grind-out game.
With Durham on the bench, Ginebra scored seven unanswered points to open the fourth. The import, though, checked in at the 9:05 mark and instantly charged up his team. He had his hand in several plays as the Bolts took a 73-67 advantage with seven minutes remaining following a great effort play from Durham that lead to a Baser Amer fastbreak bucket.
The Meralco offense, though, hit a wall from that point on while Brownlee and Tenorio came up big for Ginebra.
The Kings got contributions from everywhere, including from Scottie Thompson, who hit two key free throws despite going 0-for-7 from the stripe prior to that trip.
Ginebra 86 – Brownlee 19, Aguilar 16, Tenorio 14, Devance 10, Thompson 9, Caguioa 6, Mercado 6, Ferrer 3, Slaughter 3.
Meralco 76 – Durham 25, Amer 10, De Ocampo 10, Hodge 9, Newsome 8, Lanete 6, Dillinger 5, Tolomia 3, Hugnatan 0.
Quarterscores: 18-24, 40-37, 57-62, 86-76.