Justin Brownlee assumed much of the offensive burden for Barangay Ginebra – and later in the game. In the end, Japeth Aguilar delivered the piece that mattered.
Brownlee had four free throws in the last 33 seconds and the Kings defense stopped on the line, holding Meralco in the last 82 seconds for a 91-87 win on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the PBA Governors & # 39; Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
In front of almost 11,000 fans, the Kings were forced to play in time with the Bolts, fell by 10 in the third quarter and somehow managed to win the start of the series. For a team with many goal scorers, Ginebra won this game on the defensive, with Aguilar making the final decision for a 1-0 lead in the final.
Aguilar shaded a ride by Meralco importer Allen Durham and developed the pillow-protecting block with a remaining time of 11.3 seconds to maintain a lead of 89-87 Ginebra. Forced to foul, the Bolts Brownlee on the stripe and the Ginebra reinforcement sank the cementing giveaways that led the result beyond reversal.
"I honestly think it will be the way it will be in any game – grind [it]fight to the end," said Ginebra's coach Tim Cone. "Meralco is so disciplined that it's so hard to get her off the pace."
“It really only came down to every possession. You blow a ball, you blow the game, ”he added.
Meralco seemed to dictate the pace for most of the game. The Bolts started strong at the gates and delivered the more meaningful strokes in the first three quarters even after an undecided first quarter.
However, Meralco was also the team that blew up important possessions and wasted several chances to get one point ahead in a you-or-me fight.
After Durham led the Bolts 87-86 in the 1:22 final, Chris Newsome flipped the ball after an injury while traveling, which eventually led to two Brownlee free throws 33 seconds before the end.
The Bolts had an attempt to regain leadership, but newcomer Bong Quinto had fended off a three-point attempt and Meralco had to send Stanley Pringle to the strip to stop the clock.
The separation from Pringle gave the kings an attackable pillow and the Bolts 23 seconds to attack. But Aguilar got stuck on Durham's shoulder during a ride, then suppressed the last attempt at importing Meralco.
"We had the feeling that he would take over," said the soaring Aguilar. "I was just trying to focus on him and luckily I got the block." INQ
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