Photo by Jamie Velasco/Courtside PhilippinesGAMES20
Brownlee flirts with a triple-double as Ginebra survives late rally from Almazan-less Meralco
by Reynald Magallon, January 12, 2020 9:09pm
Justin Brownlee flirted with a triple-double as the Ginebra San Miguel survived a furious rally from the Meralco Bolts in the final frame to take a 92-84 victory on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum and have a 2-1 lead in their Best-of-7 Finals series.
Brownlee was an assist and rebound shy from a tripl-double finishing with 24 points nine rebounds and nine assists while Japeth Aguilar pounced on the depleted Meralco frontline who missed the services of Raymond Almazan in the opening frame due to injury. He unloaded 23 point while Stanle Pringle added 13 markers.
The Gin King unleashed a fiery 10-0 start in the third frame to create a 53-42 buffer from a razor thin 43-42 lead at the half. Stanley Pringle triggered the run with a layup before the rest of the Kings followed suit. Brownlee scored inside, Tenorio drained a trey before Pringle capped the run with another booming triple.
It was all Ginebra since then as kept they double digit advantage for the most part of third frame. The lead even ballooned to as much as 23 points following a 8-0 run that capped another huge third quarter onslaught that saw the Kings unload 35 points while holding to Meralco to just 16.
Meralco, who lost Almazan at the 5:55 mark of the frame, didn't want to go into the night silently as they unleashed a 10-2 retaliation bridging the third and final frames to cut the lead down to just 15. Brownlee played the fireman's role draining a long bomb but Meralco didn't falter and replied with a 11-0 rally to cut the lead down to 11, 83-74, with 4:08 left in the game.
Brownlee broke the silence for Ginebra but Meralco kept it going as Durham took over and pull Meralco within five, 87-82 with 2:04 left.
Tenorio however nailed a booming left wing triple but Newsome quickly got the deuce back with a jumper to kept the Bolts within striking distance, 90-84 with 1:38 left in the game. Meralco had several chance to inch closer but came up dry in the ensuing plays.
Japeth Aguilar then put the nail in the coffin with an inside incursion for a 94-82 lead and put the game to rest.
Newsome and Durham carried most of the load for the Bolts with 24 and 23 points respectively. That however, weren't enough to fill the void left by Almazan as they found themselves now down 2-1.
Game 4 will be on Wednesday at the Araneta coliseum.
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