Ginebra comes back to beat Meralco behind Justin Brownlee
MANILA, Philipines—Defending champion Barangay Ginebra used a blistering second half to crawl back from 15 down and beat Meralco, 110-95, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday night at Araneta Coliseum.
Gin Kings’ beloved import Justin Brownlee scored 27 points and had 12 rebounds and eight assists in the crowd darling’s entry into the win column following a loss to Blackwater Elite last week.
“We played about badly as we could in that first half. It was so discouraging and they talked about it in halftime and they came out played with so much fight in the second half,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone said, who had deputy Richard del Rosario take over in that turnaround.
“Wasn’t feeling well. Watching that first half made me sick,” he added in jest. “Whatever it takes to win. We find ways to win … I couldn’t be more prouder of this group in turning that game around.”
Four more locals scored 11 or more, with Japeth Aguilar leading the charge. He wound up finishing with 19 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
Import Gani Lawal did the heavy lifting for the Bolts, playing with sustained brilliance all through out the night. He finished with 38 points and 20 rebounds.
Baser Amer was the lone local to toss in a double-digit score in the loss that dropped the Bolts to 1-2.
Ginebra takes on NorthPort on Saturday next, while Meralco plays all-Filipino semifinalist Rain or Shine this coming Friday.
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.