Brownlee nails buzzer-beater as Ginebra wins Championship

Justin Brownlee's big triple capped a long cerebral chess match between champion coaches Tim Cone and Norman Black and it completed the Gin Kings' comeback from a slow 18-4 start and a 13-point deficit at the half. Brownlee finished with a game-high 31 points on top of 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Rookie Scottie Thompson contributed 10 points, two assists, two steals, and a block off the bench.

Veteran guard LA Tenorio was named Finals MVP with his 17.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists in the series. He had 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists in Game 6, including 14 points in a backbreaking 33-21 third quarter Ginebra rally to get back into the game. Japeth Aguilar had 7 points and 9 boards, as Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand combined for 11 points.

Photo Credits to Soriaga 9272 grafix

Ginebra, in its 22nd finals appearance, won the best-of-7 series in 6 grueling, tightly-contested games and on the combined strength of its young guns and veterans. Two-time Grand Slam coach Cone, who was appointed head coach of the Gin Kings just before this season, steered Ginebra to victory with the Living Legend Robert “Sonny” Jaworski in attendance and before a roaring crowd of 22,528 people. It is Cone’s 19th PBA title overall and his 93rd finals triumph. Cone coincidentally achieved the feat on the 93rd birthday of his coaching idol, the late great Baby Dalupan. Rookie of the Year Chris Newsome led the Bolts with 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Best Import Allen Durham was shackled to just 15 markers on 7-of-15 field goals, along with 10 rebounds. Reynel Hugnatan and Jimmy Alapag added 12 and 8 points, respectively, as Meralco failed to go all the way in its first finals appearance in franchise history.

"Wala nang kangkungan!"

That was Mark Caguioa's declaration after Barangay Ginebra San Miguel ended its eight-year title drought on Wednesday by winning the Governors' Cup over Meralco. "Kangkungan" had been a pejorative term directed at the Gin Kings in reference to their lack of championship success in recent years.

"It's been a really, really rough road for us," Caguioa said shortly after Ginebra's Game Six victory, won on a dramatic buzzer-beating three-pointer from import Justin Brownlee. Caguioa, the longtime face of the Ginebra franchise, paid tribute to coach Tim Cone, who took over the team before the season. "Everything just puzzled in together, and here we are, we won," said Caguioa.

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel point guard LA Tenorio was named the PBA Press Corps-Cignal Finals MVP after his team clinched the best-of-seven Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup finals series, 4-2, on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. Tenorio averaged 17.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists for Ginebra in the six-game series. He also played a big role in Game 6, where he scored 25 points – including 12 in a third quarter run that brought the Kings back from a double-digit deficit.
He also set a new career-high with 36 points in Game 1 of the series.
It was Ginebra’s first championship since 2008.


Ginebra (91): Brownlee 31, Tenorio 25, Thompson 10, Aguilar 7, Caguioa 6, Helterbrand 5, Ellis 4, Marcelo 3, Cruz 0, Devance 0, Mercado 0.

Meralco (88): Newsome 19, Durham 15, Hugnatan 12, Alapag 8, Faundo 8, Uyloan 7, Amer 6, Hodge 6, Nabong 4, Caram 3.

Quarter scores: 18-27, 32-45, 65-66, 91-88.
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