JUSTIN Brownlee and Japeth Aguilar came up with crucial plays on both ends of the floor to help the Barangay Ginebra Kings eke out a 91-87 win over the Meralco Bolts in Game 1 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday, January 7, 2020.
Brownlee capped off his 38-point explosion by making two free-throws that put the Kings in front for good while Aguilar stood his ground on defense, blocking the potential game-tying lay-up of Meralco import Allen Durham to seal the series-opening win.
Apart from his scoring outburst, Brownless also hauled down 16 rebounds. Aguilar helped out with 16 points, six rebounds and three blocks while LA Tenorio added 14 markers.
Meralco last held the lead at 87-86 after Durham canned two from the charity stripe with 1:22 to go. However, Brownless gave Ginebra back the lead, 88-87, with free-throw makes of his own with 33 ticks to go.
Then, after Meralco guard Bong Quinto missed a triple, Ginebra guard Stanley Pringle was fouled and made one of two for an 89-87 lead, time down to 23 seconds. Off a timeout, the Bolts got the ball to Durham who drove down the lane but was stopped at the rim by Aguilar. Brownlee then sealed the win with two more from the charity stripe.
The loss spoiled the triple-double performance of Durham who had 25 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists. Chris Newsome scored 24 while Raymond Almazan tallied 20.
Game Two is this Friday in Lucena City. (JNP)