PBA: Brownlee, Ginebra turn lights off on Meralco anew
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 11, 2018 06:35 PM
Justin Brownlee and Ginebra still have Meralco's number (FILE PHOTO)
Justin Brownlee continues to be a thorn on the side of Meralco, even now in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Stuffing the stat sheet with 36 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and three steals, Brownlee led Ginebra’s super surge in the third quarter to run away from the Bolts, 104-90, on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Just like he has been in the last two Finals of the Governor’s Cup, the Gin Kings’ American reinforcement was an unsolvable riddle for Meralco.
He definitely wasn’t working alone, though, as the crowd darlings had five different players contributing in an 18-2 run bridging the second and third quarters that increased a one-point lead to a 71-56 advantage. “We were able to come out and throw our punch in the third quarter,” a much more gleeful than usual head coach Tim Cone said.
Of course, the Bolts didn’t quit and back-to-back threes from Baser Amer and Chris Newsome pulled them to just within 81-87 inside the last five minutes.
Yet again, however, Brownlee had the answer for Ginebra and his assist to an LA Tenorio triple followed by a dunk from a Tenorio dish re-established a 92-81 edge for them. “It really came down to that LA shot in the corner. We were on our heels until that big shot,” Cone said.
That double-digit lead would stay the rest of the way, cementing the crowd darlings’ sweep of the best-of-three quarterfinals against Meralco.
In the end, Tenorio had 11 points and five assists to his name while Greg Slaughter also added a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double.
The Gin Kings now await the winner in the do-or-die matchup between Rain or Shine and Globalport on Thursday.
For the Bolts, Arinze Onuaku was atop the scoring column with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Newsome and Amer chipped in 17 and 11 points, respectively, in the losing effort.
GINEBRA 104 – Brownlee 36, Slaughter 14, Tenorio 11, Aguilar 10, Mercado 9, Devance 8, Thompson 4, Ferrer 2, Caguioa 2, Mariano 0, Manuel 0.
MERALCO 90 – Onuaku 21, Newsome 17, Amer 11, Hugnatan 10, Caram 6, Dillinger 6, De Ocampo 6, Hodge 6, Lanete 3, Baracael 2, Canaleta 2, Ballesteros 0, Bono 0, Salva 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 24-28; 56-51; 79-65; 104-90.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.