Aguilar steps up in clutch as Ginebra gets past Meralco in Game 1

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Justin Brownlee and Japeth Aguilar took over in Barangay Ginebra’s fourth-quarter outburst to turn back the gritty Meralco Bolts side, 91-87, in pulsating Game One of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup finals on Tuesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Playing catch-up for most of the way in the game, the Gin Kings used a 12-2 blast to open the fourth and final quarter for an 89-73 advantage, before doing just enough in end game to draw first blood in the best-of-seven series.

Brownlee carried the scoring cudgels for the Barangay, doing most of the damage in the first three quarters as he exploded with 38 points to go along with 16 boards to keep Ginebra afloat.

Aguilar, meanwhile, came alive on both ends in the payoff period, making crucial hits while coming up with a game-saving block on Allen Durham in the final 11 seconds. He finished as Ginebra’s second leading scorer with 16 points that went with six rebounds, three assists, three blocks and one steal.

LA Tenorio ended up with 14 markers while Stanley Pringle, in his first PBA finals, chalked up 10 points, five rebounds and four assists against two turnovers.

Durham came through with a triple-double with 25 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists. Chris Newsome had 24 points, while Raymond Almazan contributed 20 points and 13 boards in his finals debut for the Bolts.

Game Two of the series is on Firday, January 10, at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.

The scores:

GINEBRA 91 – Brownlee 38, Aguilar 16, Tenorio 14, Pringle 10, Slaughter 8, Thompson 2, Chan 2, Devance 1, Mariano 0,

MERALCO 87 – Durham 25, Newsome 24, Almazan 20, Amer 9, Caram 4, Quinto 3, Hodge 0, Faundo 0, Pinto 0.

Quarter scores: 19-19, 41-37, 71-68, 91-87.