MERALCO spoiled the return of Justin Brownlee to Barangay Ginebra on Friday night, extending the misery of the crowd favorites with a 93-82 defeat in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Arinze Onuaku had 24 points, 23 rebounds, and three blocks while Chris Newsome had 22 points for the Bolts, who got back on the winning track and improved to 4-2 (win-loss).
Brownlee had a triple double of 20 points, 16 rebounds, and 12 assists in his season debut but couldn't keep the Gin Kings from falling to their fourth loss in five games.
“I told the players before the game that if we really wanted to win this game, we have to control our defensive rebounds. I thought Arinze really stepped up and grabbed those rebounds,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
“It’s a good overall effort for us."
Emotions ran high in the third quarter when Ginebra coach Tim Cone was slapped with a technical foul for entering the court to complain about a miscall.
Cone also had a verbal spat with Meralco's Cliff Hodge at midcourt.
Meralco 93 – Onuaku 24, Newsome 22, Dilinger 13, Caram 12, Amer 10, De Ocampo 5, Hodge 4, Lanete 3, Canaleta 0.
Ginebra 82 – Brownlee 20, Aguilar 13, Thompson 12, Slaughter 8, Mercado 7, Tenorio 6, Devance 6, Caguioa 5, Caperal 5, Cruz 0, Ferrer 0.
Quarters: 28-22; 48-42; 73-58; 93-82.