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Ginebra inches closer to PBA Governors Cup title
BARANGAY Ginebra is one win away from winning the PBA Governors’ Cup for the fourth time in five seasons.
With Best Import awardee Justin Brownlee and Best Player of the Conference winner Scottie Thompson leading the way, the Gin Kings hope to do it again in Wednesday’s Game 6 against perennial rival Meralco at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“To close out a series is very tough. But we’ll not look back, nor we will look forward. We’ll just focus on the game at hand on Wednesday,”said Thompson when asked about their chances.
“Pero kapag nandyan ang ‘Sixth Man’(crowd) namin, kaya yan,” added Thompson.
Last Sunday, Brownlee and Thompson both had stellar games to lead the Gin Kings to a morale-boosting 115-110 win over the Bolts before another record crowd of 18, 251 at the Big Dome.
Brownlee exploded with 40 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Thompson added a near triple-double of 19 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds as Ginebra took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven title series.
And like in their 95-84 victory last Wednesday, Brownlee and Thompson had plenty of help.
Arvin Tolentino finished with 16 points and four rebounds, Christian Standhardinger added 13 points and seven rebounds and LA Tenorio had 10 points and seven assists for the Tim Cone-mentored Gin Kings.
Meralco import Tony Bishop scored 18 of his team-high 30 points in the fourth quarter as the Bolts rallied from a 14-point deficit to threaten at 97-98 with still 4:44 left.
Chris Newsome and Aaron Black also came through with 27 and 25 points, respectively, for Meralco.
Ginebra took as many as 14 points lead, 94-80, on a three-point play by Brownlee off a foul by Cliff Hodge with 8:35 left in the fourth quarter.
But Meralco came charging back on back-to-back three-point shots by Bishop and a layup by Black to make it 97-98.
A quick 7-0 run, however, by Ginebra on two straight jump shots by Standhardinger and a triple by Thompson put them safely ahead, 105-97, with 2:18 remaining.
Ginebra (115) — Brownlee 40, Thompson 19, Tolentino 16, Standharindger 13, Tenorio 10, Pinto 8, J. Aguilar 6, Chan 3.
Meralco (110) — Bishop 30, Newsome 27, Black 25, Maliksi 12, Almazan 6, Belo 4, Hodge 2, Quinto 2, Banchero 2.
Quarterscores: 25-22, 54-43, 82-73, 115-110.
6 p.m. — Meralco vs. Ginebra
Game 1 — Meralco 104, Ginebra 91
Game 2 — Ginebra 99, Meralco 93.
Game 3 — Meralco 83, Ginebra 74.
Game 4 — Ginebra 95, Meralco 84.
Game 5 — Ginebra 115, Meralco 110
(Ginebra leads series, 3-2)