Barangay Ginebra rules the Governors’ Cup once again. They overcame the Meralco Bolts, taking home a 105-93 Game 5 win to close out their best-of-seven series, 4-1. For the third time in four seasons, Ginebra comes out on top in the final conference of the season.
Justin Brownlee once again played a solid game. He struggled with his shot, finishing with 24 points on 8/21 shooting. But he made up for his poor field goal percentage with a team-high 10 assists. Leading the way for Ginebra was Japeth Aguilar who scored 25 points on 52% shooting. He also had eight rebounds and four blocks in the game. Stanley Pringle led the back court attack with 17 points and eight assists while Scottie Thompson had a solid showing, amassing a 14-9-6 line. Allen Durham had another 20-20 game, with 29 points and 21 rebounds.
After a lopsided outcome in Game 4, the Bolts made sure to come out strong in Game 5. Up by only one point in the final minutes of the first period, Merlaco’s bench came up big as Allein Maliksi scored four straight points to spark a 10-0 run that bridged the first and second period. Bryan Faundo and Nard Pinto capped the blast with big buckets of their own to put Meralco ahead by 11.
Durham and Baser Amer did their best to fend off all Ginebra rallies, keeping their lead at a safe level for most of the second period and the early parts of the third quarter. Ginebra, could taste blood in the water and counterpunched midway through the third to get back in the game.
Aguilar and Brownlee teamed up on a 6-1 run to get Ginebra within two points. Tenorio then stole the lead from Meralco with a booming trey from the left wing. That sparked an 8-0 run that put Ginebra up by six heading into the final quarter.
Ginebra had clearly taken the momentum at that point. After the Bolts were able to tie the game early in the fourth, Brownlee led Ginebra on a 7-0 run with five straight points to give them back the lead. That was followed by a 13-2 run highlighted by big drives from Pringle and monster jams from Aguilar. Ginebra was up by 11 at that point and they never looked back.
Aguilar was named the Finals MVP of the series. His impact was felt on both ends of the floor. He finished with averages of 17.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks in five games. This is Aguilar’s first Finals MVP award.