Barangay Ginebra San Miguel dominated Game 7 of the PBA Governors Cup Finals to finish off the Meralco Bolts, 101-96, on Friday night, en route to nailing their first back-to-back championship of the season-ending conference and their 10th title overall.
In a complete reversal of roles from Game 6, the Gin Kings this time were the ones who led from start to finish and the ones who piled a huge 20-point lead in the first half before coasting to victory in a historic game watched by a record-breaking 54,086 fans at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
LA Tenorio was named Finals MVP as he led Ginebra with 26 points, including 5 of 8 from rainbow country, along with four assists, a steal and a rebound in over 41 minutes of action.
Justin Brownlee was also just as explosive, finishing with 23 points, including 3 of 4 from three-point range, on top of eight caroms, five dimes, three blocks, and in over 45 minutes.
Scottie Thompson also played his A-game, tallying 14 points, including two 3-pointers, along with 9 rebounds, five steals, and two assists in nearly 37 minutes.
Greg Slaughter came off the bench to deliver 12 points, five boards, two assists, and two blocks in winning his first championship title.
Joe Devance and Japeth Aguilar added 10 points apiece, with the two combining for 10 rebounds and 9 assists. Aguilar also had three blocks.
It was the 20th championship won by Ginebra coach Tim Cone, further bolstering his reputation as the league’s most successful coach.
As was expected, Allen Durham led the Bolts anew with 26 points, 24 rebounds, and nine assists in another no-relief job. However, the back-to-back Best Import awardee missed a series of easy layups in the endgame that sealed his team’s doom.
Jared Dillinger played his best game of the series, firing 20 points including five 3-pointers, on top of five assists. Cliff Hodge added 14 while Chris Newsome chipped in 11, but all for nothing as the Bolts once again ended up as the bridesmaid in the season-ending tournament.
The Gin Kings shot a sizzling 50 percent from the field (39 of 77) as against the Bolts 41 percent (35 of 84).
Ginebra also had a better three-point shooting clip at 43 percent (10 of 23) compared to Meralco’s 39 percent (11 of 28). The Gin Kings won despite being outrebounded again by the Bolts, 43-52.
The Gin Kings seized control of the game in the second quarter when they went on a 19-3 run, giving them a 20-point lead, 52-32, at the 3:20 mark.
The Bolts clawed their way back in the fourth quarter, coming to within nine points, 94-85, on back-to-back fastbreak layups from Anjo Caram.
A basket from Newsome and a triple from Dillinger further cut the Gin Kings’ lead to four points with 47 ticks left.
But Tenorio split his charities. The Gin Kings then clamped down on defense to finally wrap up the series, 4-3.
BRGY. GINEBRA 101 – Tenorio 26, Brownlee 23, Thompson 14, Slaughter 12, Aguilar 10, Devance 10, Caguioa 4, Ferrer 2.
MERALCO 96 – Durham 26, Dillinger 20, Hodge 14, Newsome 11, Caram 9, Hugnatan 7, Amer 6, Lanete 3.
Quarterscores: 27-19, 52-37, 81-64, 101-96.