A combination of Justin Brownlee in peak offensive form and a lot of big bodies proved to be a winning formula for Barangay Ginebra.
That’s 1 down and 3 to go for the defending champs.
Brownlee scored 32 points and pulled down 19 rebounds, as Barangay Ginebra coasted to a 102-87 win over Meralco in Game 1 of the PBA Governors' Cup finals in at Quezon Convention Center Lucena city on Friday.
From an 18-16 lead late in the first quarter, Ginebra went on an 11-2 run to go up 29-18. Meralco chipped away at the deficit on several occasions but the Bolts couldn’t come closer than 5 points.
A lot of it had to do with Meralco not having any answer for Brownlee, who was subpar in the series opener of the 2016 Governors' Cup finals but turned around his performance for this highly anticipated rematch.
He was active running the lanes on the break, his jumpers were fluid and he went to the rim with no hesitation.
After missing his first 3 attempts from downtown, Brownlee made a couple in the fourth that effectively broke Meralco’s back.
He shot 65% from the field on 13-of-20 shooting.
On offense, the Bolts felt Ginebra’s size and length advantage. Ginebra won the rebounding contest 59-40.
Allen Durham finished with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists to lead Meralco, which entered Game 1 as the leader in 3-point accuracy shooting at 37% from downtown.
On Friday, the Bolts were merely 8 of 34 for 23%.
Jared Dillingers (2 of 11, 18%); Ranidel de Ocampo (4 of 12, 33%); and Chris Newsome (3 of 10, 30%) also struggled from the floor.
Game 2 is at Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)