THE PBA Season 46 Governors’ Cup finals is back to square one after Barangay Ginebra beat Meralco, 99-93, in Game Two on Friday night. Here is a review of that contest, and things to watch in Game Three on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at MOA Arena.
Justin Brownlee got back to his old self, and more. In Game Two, the Ginebra resident import had 36 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists, while also shooting 12-of-18 from the field. Brownlee also made the biggest play of the night, stealing the ball away from Chris Banchero and soaring for the two-hand slam, enabling the Gins to stave off a Bolts comeback bid. Where Brownlee goes, so goes Ginebra.
Justin Brownlee outplays Tony Bishop in Game Two.
Ginebra was on fire from downtown, connecting on 13 threes in the game. As early as the second period, the Gin Kings began converting their threes with a 7-of-11 clip from the perimeter in that quarter alone.
The double-double numbers of Scottie Thompson has already became a norm. In Game Two, Thompson had 16 points and 12 rebounds in a huge follow-up to his 19-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist night in the series opener. Thompson also grabbed a ‘kalawit’ rebound every Ginebra fan is talking about, fueling the Gins in the fourth and arresting a comeback bid by Meralco.
After Game Two, Meralco coach Norman Black once again stressed that the Bolts need to control the boards. The Bolts were outrebounded, 49-41, including a 16-6 disadvantage in the second no thanks to the Gin Kings’ fiery shooting.
Japeth Aguilar was in uniform in Game Two of the finals but didn’t play. Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone, however, opened the door for the possibility of Aguilar playing on Sunday, but the likelihood of the versatile big man playing in Game Four is higher.
BLACK CAREER NIGHT
Despite the Bolts trailing by as many as 20 points, Meralco came back into the thick of the game with Aaron Black taking charge. He finished with a career-high 24 points, and Bolts head coach Norman Black is hoping to see more of the same from his son in the finals.
All eyes will definitely be on Allein Maliksi come Game Three. After a 22-point performance in the finals opener, Maliksi was held scoreless, missing all of his seven attempts in Game Two. Shortly after Friday’s match, Maliksi even watched the video of the match to see what went wrong. Is Maliksi out for a big comeback in Game Three?