Bolts hold off Gin Kings to force Game 7
Paul Lintag on Oct 25, 2017 10:05 PM
Allen Durham and the Meralco Bolts are going to a Game 7 against Brgy. Ginebra to decide the Governors' Cup championship.
BOCAUE, BULACAN --- It took six games but Meralco's locals finally showed up.
And it was more than enough for the Bolts to force a deciding Game 7 in The Rematch.
Powered by an electrifying start, Meralco was able to hold off defending champion Ginebra, 98-91, in Game 6 of the 2017 Governors' Cup Finals Wednesday at the Philippine Arena here.
A year after losing the Finals in Game 6 following Justin Brownlee's buzzer-beater, the Bolts learned their lesson and managed to force one final game to decide the championship.
Faced with a must-win situation, Meralco came out firing in the first quarter, leading by as many as 12 points, as the trio of Garvo Lanete, Reynel Hugnatan, and Chris Newsome provided some much-needed support for import Allen Durham.
After Ginebra settled down in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to five, the Bolts responded with a 15-0 run to open up a 20-point lead, 44-24.
The Gin Kings would make it a somewhat close game all throughout the second half but the Bolts provided an answere every time Ginebra looked to take over. With the champs managing to get as close to five points in the fourth, Meralco came up huge in the final 1:27 of the game, coming up with two offensive rebounds that led to Durham's dagger layup, 95-88.
"I think the two days off did us a lot of good. It helped to revive our legs a little bit and give us energy. It was still really tough to beat Ginebra," head coach Norman Black said.
"You shouldn’t really be giving credit to the other team in the middle of the series but they’re well-coached, they play hard every game, and of course they have the crowd support so they never really get down. And you really have to fight every second just to beat them," he added.
Durham was his usual dominant self for Meralco, going for 28 points to go along with 19 rebounds. He played the whole 48 minutes.
However, the story is Meralco's local support led by none other than Reynel Hugnatan who fired 24 points off the bench, 18 coming from beyond the arc. Garvo Lanete was also sensational, drilling three treys of his own on his way to 15 points in a starting role.
Chris Newsome flirted with a triple-double as he played point for most of the game, finishing with 10 points, seven rebounds, and 11 assists.
For Ginebra, Justin Brownlee led the way with 23 points while Greg Slaughter added 18 points. LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson added 12 apiece while Joe Devance was good for 11.
Game 7 is set fro Friday also at the Philippine Arena.
MERALCO 98 - Durham 28, Hugnatan 24, Lanete 15, Newsome 10, Dillinger 9, Hodge 6, Amer 6, Caram 0.
GINEBRA 91 - Brownlee 23, Slaughter 18, Tenorio 12, Thompson 12, Devance 11, Aguilar 6, Caguioa 6, Ferrer 3, Taha 0.
Quarters: 29-17, 54-37, 75-69, 98-91.
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