Third quarter surge powers Brgy. Ginebra past Meralco for 2-1 Finals series lead

Stanley Pringle presided over a tide-turning third quarter surge and Brgy. Ginebra weathered off last-ditch rallies by Meralco to take Game 3, 92-84, Sunday night in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 32-year old Pringle scattered 17 of his 21 points in the 3rd canto as the Gin Kings outscored the Bolts 35 to 16 which turned a 1-point advantage coming off the halftime break into a 20-point lead, 78-58, entering the final frame.

The Norman Black-mentored squad, however, refused to wilt under tremendous pressure and unloaded a 24-9 blast capped by a 3-point play by Allen Durham to cut the deficit to a manageable 5 points, 87-82, with the game clock down to 2:04.

It turned out to be the Bolts’ last stand as LA Tenorio drained a clutch triple while Japeth Aguilar scored from close range to seal the deal and give the Gin Kings a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven affair.

“Almost a tale of two halves. Chris Newsome in the first half and Allen Durham in the second. They were tough to handle. But for the most part, we kinda got our game going tonight. It’s kinda the way we play. We were able to get some stops and get on the open court,” said Brgy. Ginebra coach Tim Cone.

“Stanley had a bunch of spectacular plays that really revved up the crowd. I thought just defensively, we did a much better job tonight in terms of controlling some of the guys we want to control,” he added.

Justin Brownlee paced the Gin Kings with 24 points, 9 boards and 9 assists while Aguilar finished with 23 markers and 7 blocks. Pringle and Tenorio added 21 and 11 points, respectively.

Newsome led the Bolts with 24 points while Durham contributed 23 markers, 13 boards and 7 assists. Bryan Faundo added 10 points off the bench. Raymond Almazan suffered a knee injury in the first quarter and never returned.

The Gin Kings go for a commanding 3-1 lead on Wednesday, January 15 at the Big Dome.

The scores:

Brgy. Ginebra 92 – Brownlee 24, Aguilar 23, Pringle 21, Tenorio 11, Slaughter 6, Thompson 5, Devance 2, Mariano 0, Dillinger 0.

Meralco 84 – Newsome 24, Durham 23, Faundo 10, Jackson 8, Amer 6, Pinto 3, Quinto 2, Hodge 2, Almazan 2, Caram 2, Maliksi 2, Hugnatan 0.

Quarterscores: 24-21, 43-42, 78-58, 92-84.

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