Brownlee nails buzzer-beater as Ginebra wins title, ends drought
There couldn’t have been a greater ending to Barangay Ginebra’s eight-year crusade to the crown.
Justin Brownlee nailed a triple from top of the key as time expired and Ginebra escaped with 91-88 victory over Meralco in a nerve-racking Game 6 to bring home the 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup championship Wednesday night.
“Wow. What an ending. Sometimes, players just overcome bad coaching and I wasn’t a great coach tonight, I didn’t even design a great play at the end of the game but he (Brownlee) made a great shot,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone. “And I’ve got some really good players.”
It took eight agonizing years and seasons of torment but the Kings finally regained their lost glory.
Buoyed by the predominantly pro-Ginebra crowd packing the historic Araneta Coliseum to the rafters and the presence of Robert “Sonny” Jaworski, the Gin Kings found their way back from a 13-point hole in vintage Ginebra fashion.
“I know this is almost too much of a storybook but when senator Jaworski came into the locker room at halftime and we’re down 13 and I was kinda just angry. I was ranting and raving at the players and saying all these stuff and then right before we went out, senator Jaworski just came in.
“And I just can feel the whole room and all that tenseness
LA Tenorio came alive in the second half and led the Kings’ third-quarter comeback. The veteran floor general only had four points in the first half before exploding for 21 in the last two quarters.
Fittingly, the 32-year-old Tenorio was named Finals MVP.
Ginebra clinched its franchise’s ninth title but only its first since the 2008 Fiesta Conference.
Tim Cone, who is in his first season as the Gin Kings’ head coach, seized his league record 19th PBA crown.
Ginebra trailed, 2-1, before racking up three straight victories to win the closely-contested series.
Jaworski visited the Ginebra dugout at halftime and gave the players a pep talk with the Gin Kings behind by double-digits.
The 70-year-old Jaworski didn’t stay long inside the locker room but he had enough time to fire up the Kings.
Ginebra came out with much more energy and intensity in the second half and just minutes into the third quarter, the Kings were able to take their first lead of the game before settling for a 66-65 deficit entering the final frame, giving themselves the momentum they needed to close out the hard-fighting Bolts.
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