How Ginebra scored a KO
The conquest was classy and complete.
Japeth Aguilar subdued and erased what could’ve been a game-tying power stab by Meralco’s Allen Durham, a marvelous feat that readily led as the biggest move of the best-of-seven PBA Governors’ Cup title series.
It was worth many points for the hard-pressed Gin Kings, who had to scramble several times behind Meralco’s blistering offensive.
The game could’ve gone either way, if not for the great Aguilar stoppage.
It’s now easy to say Aguilar’s defensive gem was equivalent to a knockout in boxing.
It stopped and instantly left the Bolts flat out, Ginebra on top 91-87.
Durham did try to protest, and said a foul should have been slapped on Aguilar.Durham claimed Aguilar was a full shoulder upon him in swatting his big shot.
It didn’t look that way though, filmed evidence would show.
Truth is Aguilar, spectacular in offense prior to the defensive gem, didn’t have to smother the Durham attempt.
There was no planned ambush. He was in full control, fully aware ahead of the assault.
Aguilar neatly palmed out the power shot, a tennis volley evenly nullified.
The hard-earned Game 1 victory did not only emphasize Ginebra’s superiority over Meralco, which the Kings have mastered twice in their previous crown encounters.
It’s also hard to overlook how Ginebra has again gained great momentum in the best-of-seven, whose second match was set in Lucena on Friday.
Coach Tim Cone refused to claim a clear edge despite the initial win, swearing the competition could go all the way to seven games.
Ginebra indeed had the road edge, with its fans pushing hard for the pro league’s most adored outfit.
Knowing Meralco coach Norman Black, he would scrape bottom in a bid to even up, and possibly prevail.
Meralco performed well enough in the opening game, but there were glaring instances when the Bolts would get lost, stranded and left with frantic kickoff escape moves. This resulted in poorer field goal percentage.
Before the series started, Cone said they would be ready with something in their pockets once pressed to the limit.
Didn’t Cone mean they could resort to a knockout blow if the situation warranted?
Aguilar, the way he shone in Game 1, appeared capable of also providing a knockout offensive sock anytime in the championship.
Justin Brownlee top-scored with 38 points in Game 1, but Aguilar finished with 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, one crippling knockout block.