Ginebra evens series; Castro, Durham awarded best for the conference; Alapag is three-point king

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings escaped a late run by the Meralco Bolts to tie the best-of-seven championship series for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors Cup crown at one game apiece last night (October 9) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Sol Mercdo shoots a jumper over the outstretched arms of Cliff Hodge. (Photo courtesy: hoops.ph)

Sol Mercdo shoots a jumper over the outstretched arms of Cliff Hodge. (Photo courtesy: hoops.ph)

Sol Mercado came through with a follow-up with 28.6 seconds left off an LA Tenorio miss to break the 79-79 standoff against the Meralco frontline of Allen Durham and Reynel Hugnatan.  This sets up a wild finish that saw Tenorio splitting his charities and the Bolts missing two three-pointers in the dying seconds of the game.

Justin Brownlee led the Kings with 32 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block as a bounce back from a lackluster showing in Game One.  Mercado tallied 12 markers, six boards, four assists.

Durham was held to just 22 points on 10-of-24 from the field in 40 minutes, far cry from the 46-point explosion in Meralco’s Game One win.  Cliff Hodge added 16 markers.

The Kings squandered a 15-point lead in the third quarter and even led by nine going into the final period.

The Bolts, through, rallied back and even took the lead 79-77 in a Hodge three-point play off a Japeth Aguilar foul with 2:45 left to play.

However, Brownlee leveled the score with a jumper to set the stage for Mercado’s rebound play.

Earlier, Jayson Castro of the TNT Katropa was awarded the Best Player of the Conference for the season-ending tournament edging June Mar Fajardo of the San Miguel Beermen.

Castro led the conference in statistical points, 38.3 SPs, a little ahead of Fajardo who ended second, to win his fourth career BPC award.

Durham, on the other hand, was given the Best Import for the conference beating out Brownlee and Beerman Elijah Millsap and Phoenix Fuel Masters’ Eugene Phelps.

In other news, Jimmy Alapag became the league’s newest all-time leader in three-pointers made.

Jimmy Alapag has now 1,243 career three-pointers made. (Photo courtesy: sports.inquirer.net)

Jimmy Alapag has now 1,243 career three-pointers made. (Photo courtesy: sports.inquirer.net)

The former Gilas standout officially broke the record held by all-time great Allan Caidic at the 4:49 mark of the second quarter adding up to his total of 1,243 career three-pointers.

The record of 1,242 three-pointers made stood for 17 years.

A special ceremony was given before the start of the second half as Alapag was joined in centercourt by his wife, children and PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa who handed the historic ball to the 38-year old guard.

 

The scores:

BARANGAY GINEBRA 82 – Brownlee 32, Mercado 12, Caguioa 10, Tenorio 9, Thompson 9, Aguilar 6, Devance 2, Helterbrand 2, Cruz 0, Marcelo 0.

MERALCO 79 – Durham 22, Hodge 16, Newsome 10, Hugnatan 9, Nabong 6, Amer 4, Caram 4, Alapag 3, Uyloan 3, Faundo 2.

Quarterscores: 24-21, 43-44, 69-60, 82-79.

 

Game highlights:

 

Aris Ignacio is from the Philippines and has always been a big fan of Philippine basketball. Aris’ follows the Philippine Basketball Association since the late 80’s and has learned the history and personalities of the PBA. He also has interest with other basketball tournaments in the Philippines and beyond most specifically college basketball (UAAP, NCAA), the Asian Basketball League (ABL), FIBA Asia and World Cup tournaments. Global Basketball is Aris’ second writing assignment besides Asia-basket.com. Follow Aris Ignacio on Twitter at aris_ignacio.

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