Japeth Aguilar was the hero of Brgy. Ginebra’s 91-87 victory over Meralco in Game 1 of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup best-of-seven Finals series, Tuesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The high-flying forward rejected an attempt by Bolts import Allen Durham with 14 ticks left on the game clock which would’ve equalized the score and possibly sent the match into an extra period.
Justin Brownlee, who recovered the loose ball after the block and was fouled in the process, canned two pressure-packed freebies to seal the deal.
The effort wasn’t lost on Gin Kings coach Tim Cone who heaved praises on the 32-year old native of Sasmuan, Pampanga.
“Obviously, Japeth had the game-saving block at the end of the game. It’s really nice to do that defensively. He’s done it so many times offensively and he has done it also defensively,” said Cone who is gunning for his 22nd overall title in the league.
“That was spectacular, one-on-one with Durham, getting a head of steam and getting the hand on that shot. It was really a tremendous play, one of the best I’ve seen in a long time,” he added.
Moreover, Cone was amused at the thought of beating one of the best defensive teams in the league with a gem of a defensive play.
“I’m not going to say it was a pretty game. It wasn’t pretty. It was exciting and it was a struggle all the way through. It was a struggle keeping our emotions in check because they really frustrate you defensively,” said Cone.