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    Meralco rains 16 three-point bombs on Ginebra to tie PBA Finals at 1-1

    Jan 10, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    LUCENA – Meralco regained its shooting stroke in record fashion to tie the PBA Governors’ Cup finals series to one game apiece after beating Barangay Ginebra, 104-102, on Friday night at the packed Quezon City Convention Center.

    After struggling in Game One on a 7-of-32 clip from rainbow country, the Bolts bounced back in a big way by with a PBA Finals-record 16 three-pointers on their way to levelling the best-of-seven series at 1-1.

    Nards Pinto hit all of his first four three-pointers in the first quarter to set the tone for the hot-shooting Bolts before other players led by Allen Durham followed suit.

    Baser Amer also atoned for his off-night in Game One with key threes in the final minutes of the fourth period that finally doused cold water on Ginebra’s last-ditch comeback.

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    Durham scored 21 points and grabbed 18 rebounds while Chris Newsome added 17 points and seven assists for the Bolts.

    Amer finished with nine points on a 1-of-5 clip from threes in the series opener, but made up for it with 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc, with two coming in the fourth quarter.

    Amer also buried his last triple at the final 2:12-mark to give Meralco a 101-91 lead.

    Raymond Almazan had 15 points, and Pinto added 12, all of which came in the first quarter. He nailed back-to-back triples that brought Meralco’s lead to 14, 31-17.

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    The Gin Kings tied the match at 70-70, thanks to Justin Brownlee but Salva came out of nowhere to contribute nine in the contest, all in the third, to keep Meralco on top, 82-76, entering the final canto.

    Brownlee had 35 points and 11 rebounds, while Stanley Pringle added 23 points and 10 rebounds for Barangay Ginebra.

    The two teams will have a one-day rest before returning to the court on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum where the Bolts and the Gin Kings eye a 2-1 series lead.

    It was a crucial victory for Meralco, which entered Game Two with a 0-2 record at the Quezon Convention Center that included a loss in the opener of their 2017 Governors’ Cup Finals against Ginebra.

    Meralco had to play in front of a predominantly pro-Ginebra crowd that came out in droves not just from the Quezon capital but also from nearby cities, towns, and even provinces.

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    The Bolts also weathered several rallies by Ginebra with key contributions from their bench that included seldom-used Nico Salva, a spark which was also sorely missed in Game One.

    The scores:

    Meralco 104 – Durham 21, Amer 17, Newsome 17, Almazan 15, Pinto 12, Salva 9, Caram 5, Quinto 5, Faundo 3, Hodge 0, Hugnatan 0, Maliksi 0.

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    Barangay Ginebra 102 – Brownlee 35, Pringle 23, J. Aguilar 18, Tenorio 10, Slaughter 6, Thompson 4, Caguioa 4, Mariano 2, Caperal 0, Dela Cruz 0, Devance 0.

    Quarters: 36-21; 63-46; 82-76; 104-102.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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