Meralco weathers Ginebra rallies to ties series

The Meralco Bolts got big games from their back court to pull away early and weather a late rally by Barangay Ginebra to win Game 2, 104-102. The Bolts tie up the series at 1-1.

Allen Durham led the way with 21 points, 18 rebounds and six assists. Chris Newsome and Raymond Almazan continued to play well. Newsome dropped 17 points and dished out seven dimes, while Almazan had 15 points and nine boards. Baser Amer bounced back from a tough Game 1 with 17 points on five triples. Nard Pinto came off the bench to score 12 with four threes. Justin Brownlee had 35 points and 11 rebounds to lead Ginebra.

Photo from the PBA

The Bolts, looking to avoid a 2-0 hole started out the game on fire. Up by only two points midway through the first period, Meralco found their range to pull away with a double-digit lead. Newsome and Durham started the run by rattling off six straight points to put the team up by eight. Then Pinto spiked that blast with back-to-back triples to complete a 12-0 run and put the Bolts up by 14. Meralco held on to that double-digit lead for most of the first half, even increasing it slightly up to 17, heading to the halftime break.

Refusing to get blown out, Ginebra fought back in the third period. LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar led the comeback to start the third period. Tenorio got momentum going with a four-point play and was followed by buckets from Aguilar. The quick 10-0 run by Ginebra cut the deficit down to just seven. A triple by Stanley Pringle and a jumper by Brownlee tied the game at 70, but Meralco was able to rebuild a six-point lead heading to the final period.

Meralco avoided a total collapse by building on that six-point foundation and using that separation to hold off Ginebra advances. Five straight points from Amer and Almazan helped the Bolts to build a 10-point lead as the game went into the final two minutes.

Ginebra had one final run in them. Brownlee started off the run with a triple and was followed up by an Aguilar hoop inside. Brownlee scored on another triple to get them within four with 11 seconds left. Durham split his freebies, leading to another trey by Tenorio to cut the deficit down to just two. But Ginebra’s rally fell short as Meralco escaped with the win.