Barangay Ginebra San Miguel fended off Meralco Bolts, securing second-year straight championship, 101-96, in game 7 of the Governors’ Cup finals at the Philippine Arena, Friday, October 27.
Before a crowd of 54,086, an all-time attendance record for the PBA, the Ginebra Kings clinched their 10th championship in the PBA history.
“To be able to do it in front of these fans — even the Meralco fans — it’s such a special thing to be able to do this,” Ginebra Coach Tim Cone said.
Ginebra led by as high as 20 points in the second quarter, but the Bolts closed the gap in the fourth quarter, trailing behind by only 4 points with less than a minute in the game.
In Meralco’s final possession, a 3-point attempt by Garvo Lanete bounced off the rim and into the hands of Kevin Ferrer.
Ginebra was explosive right from the start, hitting 27-19 in the first quarter then pulling away 52-32 in the second. At the end of the third quarter, the Kings held an 81-64 lead.
Ginebra was still sitting comfortably with 100-90 with 1:34 left in the game clock, until they started missing their free throws.
The Bolts took advantage of 4 agonizing straight misses by the Kings, with Chris Newman hitting a jumper and Jared Dillinger nailing a three-pointer to make a 100-96 with only 47 seconds left in the clock.
The Bolts looked ready to cut the deficit further after Tenorio front-rimmed a 3-point attempt, but Japeth Aguilar caught the rebound, forcing Meralco to foul to stop the clock. Tenorio then walked to the free-throw line where he went 1 out of 2.
“I’ve always said we didn’t come to Ginebra to win one championship. We always want to win many championships,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, the league’s coach with the most wins who added his 20th title. “We’re not gonna stop here. We’ve got more to get, more to come up.”
Ginebra (101): Tenorio 26, Brownlee 23, Thompson 14, Slaughter 12, Devance 10, Aguilar 10, Caguioa 4, Ferrer 2.
Meralco (96): Durham 26, Dillinger 20, Hodge 14, Newsome 11, Caram 9, Hugnatan 7, Amer 6, Lanete 3.
Quarter scores: 27-19, 52-37, 81-64, 101-96.
Sources: Rappler | ABS-CBN
Images: ABS-CBN | Twitter @barangayginebra