Brgy. Ginebra bounced back from a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Blackwater Elite just two days ago by storming back from an 11-point 1st half deficit to trounce Meralco, 110-95, Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings started the 3rd quarter like a house on fire and finished with the same resolve to completely turn things around at the end of the tide-turning period. They outscored the stunned Bolts to the tune of 39-17 to bring an 11-point lead into the final frame.
Reigning Best Import Justin Brownlee narrowly missed a triple-double with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists while four other locals contributed in double-digits as the defending champions secured their very first win of the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup.
From a 43-54 deficit going into the second half, Brgy. Ginebra dropped a 12-0 bomb to wrest the upper hand and then stepped on the gas further to take control of the game from the Bolts.
“We played about as badly as we could in that first half. We didn’t look like we had any fight whatsoever. It was so discouraging,” said Brgy. Ginebra coach Tim Cone whose team fell behind by as much as 15 points in the early goings.
“But then we played with so much fight in the second half. Couldn’t be prouder of this group in terms of getting that game around,” added the league’s most decorated mentor.
Japeth Aguilar finished with 19 markers while Art dela Cruz contributed 16. Sol Mercado, who was adjudged as the game’s best player, had a solid all-around performance with 14 points, 5 assists and 8 rebounds.
Gani Lawal was the lone bright spot for Meralco as he led the team with 38 points and 20 boards. Baser Amer was the only other one to finish in double-digits with 10.
Brgy. Ginebra 110 – Brownlee 27, Aguilar 19, Dela Cruz 16, Mercado 14, Thompson 11, Slaughter 8, Mariano 8, Tenorio 4, Ferrer 3, Cruz 0, Caperal 0.
Meralco 95 – Lawal 38, Amer 10, Newsome 8, Hodge 7, Salva 6, Pinto 6, Canaleta 6, De Ocampo 5, Hugnatan 4, Jackson 3, Tolomia 2, Quinto 0, Caram 0.
Quarterscores: 16-28, 43-54, 82-71, 110-95.