MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Meralco Bolts remained composed down the stretch to pull off an 85-83 win over Barangay Ginebra in Game 4 and equalize their best-of-7 PBA Governors’ Cup finals at the Araneta Coliseum Friday, October 20.
The game was tied at 83-all with over a minute left before Meralco import Allen Durham scored an easy bucket down low off a magnificent drop pass from Reynel Hugnatan to give the Bolts an 85-83 lead.
With more than 40 seconds remaining in the game, Ginebra had enough time to score a game-tying basket but missed all of its last 3 shots.
After Sol Mercado and Justin Brownlee missed both of their three-point attempts, Meralco’s Jared Dillinger tried to score a layup off the fastbreak but was blocked by Mercado as the possession went back to Ginebra.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone was seen at the sidelines barking at his players to call a timeout but no avail as Brownlee bricked his jumper attempt at the buzzer.
“Our execution down the stretch was pretty good today expect for that last layup of JD (Jared Dillinger). Everything went pretty smoothly, the guys really focused in the huddle as far as instructions were concerned unlike in Game 2 and we made some big shots and some big plays down the stretch to win,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
Durham paced the Bolts with another monster performance of 28 points, 22 of which came in the second half, 18 rebounds, two steals and two blocks while Chris Newsome finally found his touch in the series as he scored 18 points, hauled down 11 boards and dished off 4 assists.
Reynel Hugnatan made his presence felt once again for the Bolts with 14 points on 4 triples, 7 rebounds and 4 assists while Baser Amer chipped in 11 markers, highlighted by a trey late in the final period that put the Bolts up 83-80.
This game marked the first time four players scored in double figures for Meralco.
The Bolts led by as much as 13 points in the third period, 63-50, before the Gin Kings rallied behind Brownlee and Mark Caguioa who conjoined for a 13-5 run that cut Ginebra’s deficit to just 5 points heading into the last period, 63-68.
Justin Brownlee did most of the heavy lifting for Ginebra with 34 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals while Joe Devance added 15.
LA Tenorio was scoreless throughout his 31 minutes of play.
Game 5 of the finals will be on Sunday, October 22, at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Meralco (85): Durham 28, New some 18, Hugnatan 14, Amer 11, Hodge 7, Caram 2, Dillinger 2, Faundo 2, Lanete 1, Tolomia 0
Ginebra (83): Brownlee 34, Devance 15, Caguioa 8, Aguilar 7, Slaughter 6, Cruz 4, Thompson 4, Ferrer 3, Helterbrand 2, Mercado 0, Tenorio 0
Quarter scores: 17-17, 41-40, 68-63, 85-83. – Rappler.com
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