The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings are one win away from reclaiming the Governors’ Cup title as they blew away the Meralco Bolts in Game 4, 94-72, last Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Justin Brownlee set the tone particularly in the second quarter where he fueled a 17-4 run to give Ginebra a sizeable advantage. The popular import pumped in 11 of his 27 points at the time. Stanley Pringle and LA Tenorio followed suit in the third quarter by helping extend their biggest lead up to 19 points.
The Gin Kings’ defense put the clamps on the Bolts as they’ve only conceded 31 points for the first half, which marks their lowest output in their 17 Finals games against each other.
Surprisingly, Raymond Almazan played well for Meralco despite suffering from a knee injury in the previous game. The wiry center added 12 points and nine rebounds in around 28 minutes of play.
Allen Durham led the Bolts in scoring with 21 points while adding 27 rebounds and seven assists. Chris Newsome contributed 12 markers in the losing effort.
Game 5 of this best-of-seven series is to be played on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Today, FOX Sports Philippines examines how the Gin Kings scored this big victory.
Ginebra had the edge in the interior
The Gin Kings rightfully used their height advantage particularly on the offensive end, as they notched 46 points in the paint and 51 total rebounds in this game.
The duo of Japeth Aguilar and Justin Brownlee led the way for Ginebra in that regard by grabbing nine and eight rebounds respectively. Them, along with the likes of Stanley Pringle and Scottie Thompson continuously attacked the Bolts’ interior defense and it worked into perfection.
The Gin Kings capitalized on the Bolts’ miscues
Meralco was on the wrong side of the turnover count once more, and the Tim Cone-coached squad made sure to make the most out of those opportunities. All in all, they had 27 points off of 19 turnovers by Meralco.
At the same time, the Bolts’ defense didn’t help themselves either as the Gin Kings executed their plays well on the offensive end. They had 22 assists compared to only 13 for Meralco.
Justin Brownlee used his scoring threat to find his open teammates by dishing out eight assists, while Scottie Thompson and LA Tenorio had four and three each.
Meralco was shut down on the offensive end
Tim Cone is an all-time great coach for a reason, as he would always find ways to limit Meralco’s free-flowing, fast-paced attack. The Gin Kings particularly keyed in on the likes of Allen Durham, Chris Newsome, and Baser Amer in this game.
After scoring 20+ points in the previous games, Chris Newsome was limited to only 12 in this game as he struggled in shooting the basketball. His backcourt mate in Baser Amer was held to only two points as he shot blanks all over.
Newly-minted BIC awardee Allen Durham went to work as usual by scoring 21 points. However, his six turnovers were too much to handle for Meralco.