LA delivers Gin Kings to PBA championship

LEWIS ALFRED TENORIO played big and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel made sure the series end on Friday in Pasay City — not Sunday in Bocaue, Bulacan.

The veteran Tenorio provided Ginebra the spark in the fourth quarter to outplay Meralco, 103-92, and capture the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup championship in Game 6 of the best-of-seven finals showdown before the 20,224 spectators at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

Tenorio displayed nerves of steel posting 11 of his conference-high 30 points in the last period on 13-of-26 shooting from the field to go along with four rebounds and four assists, helping the Gin Kings to wrap up the series at 4-2.

“That’s LA. There are moments when he is not playing great basketball. But when we need him to step up, he stepped up and hit those big shots,” Ginebra head coach Tim Cone said, who already won his 24th PBA titles as coach.

“He really knows how to win.”Game 7 was supposed to be held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. But the Gin Kings didn’t give the Bolts a chance when they unleashed a blazing 13-0 run capped by Tenorio’s trey in the last 1:10 that gave them a 101-88 cushion. 

“When we made big stops from one way to another, that changes the complexion of the game after we were being beaten in the transition in the first half,” Cone added. “We adjusted very well in the second half.”

Best Import Justin Brownlee, who won his five championships— four in the Governors’ Cup — tallied 24 points, 16 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks, while Christian Standhardinger showed consistency posting 19 points and 13 rebounds.

Best Player of the Conference Scottie Thompson bagged the Finals Most Valuable Player award and had 15 points.

The Gin Kings collected 14 overall titles — tying the defunct Alaska franchise in most number of titles — and fourth Governors’ Cup crown since 2016. Tony Bishop and Aaron Black tried to keep Meralco alive in the series but couldn’t. Bishop had 21 points and 16 rebounds while Black finished with 18 points to lead the Bolts, who suffered their fourth finals heartbreak against Ginebra. 

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