Barangay Ginebra San Miguel successfully retained their title after imposing their mastery over the Meralco Bolts, 101-96, in Game 7 of the Governors’ Cup finals at the Philippine Arena Friday, October 27.
Before a raucous crowd of 54,086, an all-time attendance high for the PBA, the Gin Kings fended off a late comeback scare from Meralco to clinch their 10th championship in franchise history.
Ginebra led by as much as 20 points in the second quarter, 52-32, before the Bolts made things interesting in the fourth. With Meralco trailing by just 4 points after a Jared Dillinger triple with 47 seconds left in the game, Ginebra milked the clock after Garvo Lanete bricked his three-point attempt, rendering the Bolts’s potential fightback for naught.
“I’ve always said we didn’t come to Ginebra to win one championship. We always want to win many championships,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, the league’s winningest coach who added his 20th title. “We’re not gonna stop here. We’ve got more to get, more to come up.”
LA Tenorio, who led Ginebra with 26 points and 4 assists, was named Finals MVP and is set to undergo surgery on his injured right elbow the following day, Saturday. Despite playing hurt throughout, Tenorio averaged 13.3 points, 3.7 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals in the series.