Gin Kings ride big fourth-quarter run to go up 2-0 against Bolts
Paul Kennedy Lintag on Oct 15, 2017 09:07 PM
Down 69-75 with 5:56 to go, the Gin Kings went on a 17-1 closing run to sink the Bolts anew, halfway there for back-to-back titles.
For the second straight game, it was a big fourth-quarter run that served as the difference for the barangay.
Defending champion Bgry. Ginebra flipped the switch in the last six minutes of Game 2 to take a 86-76 win over Meralco in the 2017 Governors' Cup Finals Sunday at the Big Dome.
The champs, after another strong performance, are now up 2-0 in the best-of-7 series.
Down 69-75 with 5:56 to go, the Gin Kings went on a 17-1 closing run to sink the Bolts anew and are halfway there for back-to-back titles.
Holding on to a 79-76 lead, LA Tenorio hit a booming three with 1:08 remaining for a six-point advantage. Tenorio then forced a steal on Baser Amer on the other end and buried the insurance free throws as the barangay extended its Finals streak over Meralco to five games dating back to last year.
Before Tenorio's dagger three though, the Bolts had the chance to tie but Ranidel De Ocampo and Jared Dillinger missed three of four free throws in one play. Dillinger, in particular, muffed two charities after he drew a loose ball foul on Japeth Aguilar following RDO's earlier split from the charity stripe.
"We took a big punch from them early in the game and kind of survived that and we were able to kind of make it into a possession by possession game," head coach Tim Cone said.
"Seeing that the opportunity was there for us to win that game. It was a struggle. They’re a tough mental team. They’re mentally very tough. They’re hard to crack. But I’m just truly happy with our guys, just hanging in there, hanging in there, battling and battling and finding a way," he added.
Game 2 was a far cry from Game 1 mainly because the Bolts didn't took one whole half before showing up. Both teams were engaged from the get-go but it appeared that Meralco had things under control following a huge effort in the third behind import Allen Durham.
However, Ginebra would complete shut down the Bolts as Tenorio and Justin Brownlee finally got it going and the Gin Kings ended up outscoring Meralco by 15 in the fourth. Tenorio and Brownlee on their own beat the Bolts in the payoff period, 18-14.
Brownlee finished with only 19 points but eight came in the fourth. He also had 13 rebounds and seven assists. Tenorio dropped 10 of his 14 points in the final 12 minutes while Japeth Aguilar, despite five fouls, came through for 16.
Back-to-back Best Import Allen Durham once again carried Meralco with 25 points, 22 rebounds, and seven assists but his local support remains lacking as De Ocampo and Baser Amer were the only other Bolts to crack double figures with 10 points apiece.
Game 3 will be on Wednesday also at the Big Dome
GINEBRA 86 - Brownlee 19, Aguilar 16, Tenorio 14, Devance 10, Thompson 9, Mercado 6, Caguioa 6, Ferrer 3, Slaughter 3.
MERALCO 76 - Durham 25, Amer 10, De Ocampo 10, Hodge 9, Newsome 8, Lanete 6, Dillinger 5, Tolomia 3, Caram 0, Hugnatan 0.
Quarters: 18-24, 40-37, 57-62, 86-76.
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