MANILA — Game 7 was in some ways historic — but the PBA Governors’ Cup title remains with Ginebra.
The Barangay turned back the Meralco Bolts, 101-96, in the final game of the championship series in front of a record-shattering 54,086 people at the Philippine Arena Friday night.
Two nights after getting slowed down in the first half of Game 6, it was Ginebra’s turn to stifle Meralco early on, opening a 52-32 lead late in the first 24 minutes and was poised to maul Meralco after keeping a large advantage after three quarters.
However, the Bolts made things interesting in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead down to just four, 100-96, with 40.3 seconds left in the game.
They even had a chance to inch closer as LA Tenorio missed a right wing triple, but Japeth Aguilar grabbed a crucial offensive rebound that led to a split from Tenorio for a five-point cushion with 22.6 seconds to go.
Garvo Lanete tried to keep Meralco in the running, but he muffed a three-pointer and Kevin Ferrer sealed the win with a huge defensive glass.
Tenorio, despite struggling from the stripe, waxed hot from deep, making five of his first six tries from three-point land to finish with 26 points with one rebound, four assists, and one steal for Ginebra, which won its 10th PBA title while giving Coach Tim Cone his 20th pennant.
Justin Brownlee added 23 points, eight boards, five dimes, three blocks, and one steal, while Scottie Thompson chipped in 14 markers, nine caroms, two assists, and five swipes.
Allen Durham led Meralco with 26 points, 24 rebounds, nine assists, and two steals.
Jared Dillinger had his best game of the series, firing 20 markers on five triples with three boards, five dishes, two swats, and one interception, but the performance fell short as the Bolts are runners-up for the second straight year.
Ginebra 101: Tenorio 26, Brownlee 23, Thompson 14, Slaughter 12, Devance 10, J. Aguilar 10, Caguioa 4, Ferrer 2
Meralco 96: Durham 26, Dillinger 20, Hodge 14, Newsome 11, Caram 9, Hugnatan 7, Amer 6, Lanete 3
Quarter scores: 27-19, 52-37, 81-64, 101-96 PNA-northboundasia.com