IF this is indeed their last ride together, then the 'Fast and Furious' are making it an unforgettable one.
Barangay Ginebra hopped on Jayjay Helterbrand and Mark Caguioa’s two-man rally in the final quarter as the Gin Kings averted a monumental collapse with an 88-86 victory over Meralco on Friday night to knot the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals at two games apiece.
Helterbrand scored all his 11 points in the fourth quarter as he conspired with Caguioa in restoring order after they squandered a 16-point lead, before Joe Devance scored the go-ahead basket in Game Four before a crowd of almost 18,000 fans at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“It was a storybook game,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said. “We were swinging in the wind, we didn’t know what we were doing, then Jay and Mark played with so much energy … and pretty much saved our series.”
The best-of-seven series shifts to Game Five on Sunday night.
Making the most of his first significant action in the series, Helterbrand knocked down timely three-pointers as he ended up making all his four shots to spark the stand, a fitting present as he turned 40 on game day.
Caguioa wound up with just eight points as he shone more on defense and grabbed a handful of crucial rebounds down the stretch.
Devance finished what the longtime backcourt duo started as he scored on turnaround jumper that beat the shot clock with 25.7 seconds left.
Japeth Aguilar led the Gin Kings in scoring with 19 points and six boards before going down with a sprained ankle.
Allen Durham spearheaded the Bolts’ stunning 32-point turnaround as he fired 16 of his 34 points in the third quarter, where they outscored the Gin Kings, 39-12, but the Meralco import missed a late trey that could’ve won them the game.
Rookie of the Year Chris Newsome also made a few key baskets that kept the Bolts within striking distance, but was forced to take a tough shot in questionable decision in their last possession that could’ve sent the game into overtime.
GINEBRA 88 – Aguilar 19, Tenorio 12, Helterbrand 11, Brownlee 10, Mercado 10, Caguioa 8, Cruz 7, Devance 7, Thompson 4, Marcelo 0
MERALCO 86 – Durham 34, Newsome 15, Caram 8, Al-Hussaini 8, Hodge 6, Hugnatan 5, Nabong 4, Uyloan 3, Amer 3, Faundo 0, Alapag 0, Guevarra 0
Quarterscores: 20-13, 46-35, 58-74, 88-86