Ginebra claims share of top spot, slips past Meralco | Inquirer Sports

Ginebra claims share of top spot, slips past Meralco

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 09:44 PM May 28, 2017

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ANTIPOLO—Barangay Ginebra gained a share of the top seed after clipping Meralco, 90-89, in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at Ynares Sports Center here.

The Gin Kings improved to 8-2 and tied the Star Hotshots at the helm while the Bolts ended their elimination round schedule with a 7-4 card. 

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It was a game where it boiled down to the final minute and Ginebra head coach Tim Cone said his team was just fortunate enough to have one more shot than Meralco.

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“It came down to one or two shots, we had one more shot than they did,” said Cone. “There wasn’t much that separated us, Meralco’s a good team.”

Ginebra’s march to victory came when Japeth Aguilar tied the game at 86-86 with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter with a short-range jumper.

Then it was Joe Devance’s turn to step on the clutch pedal when he got the ball off a scramble and floated it in to give Ginebra an 88-86 lead with 38.9 seconds left.

LA Tenorio gave Ginebra a 90-86 cushion with 30 seconds remaining with two free throws before Cliff Hodge cut it to one, 90-89, with seven seconds left.

Justin Brownlee missed his two free throws at the 6-second mark but Chris Newsome’s full-court heave went long as time ran out and Ginebra escaped with a crucial win.

“We played them in the Finals two conferences ago, it was a battle then, and it was a battle tonight,” said Cone who faced Meralco in the Governors’ Cup Finals back in 2016.

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Brownlee led Ginebra with 22 points and nine boards while Tenorio also finished with 22 markers.

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Baser Amer had 21 points for Meralco.

TAGS: 2017 Commissioner's Cup, Alex Stepheson, Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, justin brownlee, Meralco Bolts, PBA

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