Meralco holds off Ginebra, forces Game 7
Import Allen Durham held off a late rally to lead the Meralco Bolts to a 98-91 win over defending champion Barangay Ginebra in Game 6 of the 2017 Governors' Cup Finals on Wednesday at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Leading with 28 points and 19 rebounds, Durham stepped up in the last 2:30, and his heroics allowed the Bolts to force a deciding Game 7 in the title series dubbed The Rematch.
His rebound plays off misses by Mark Caguioa and Justin Brownless came just in time in the last 1:39 to arrest Meralco's impending collapse.
It allowed the Bolts to preserve a 93-86 advantage that they gained in the remaining 2:26 off Durham’s putback.
This eased the pain caused by memories of last year’s Game 6 on Brownlee's buzzer-beating basket that decided the championship in favor of the Gin Kings.
Reynel Hugnatan drilled in 24 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, including a trey in the last 16 seconds that gave the Bolts a 10-point cushion, 98-88.
Meralco took charge in the first quarter and led by as much as 12 points asGarvo Lanete, Reynel Hugnatan, and Chris Newsom each unloaded point baskets.
The Gin Kings managed to come within five in the second quarter, before the Bolts fired back with a 15-0 run, and took a 20-point lead, 44-24, at halftime.
Brownlee finished with 23 points for the Gin Kings, while Greg Slaughter added 18.
Chris Newsome, who brought the Gin Kings within range with his triple in the last 6:03, 82-88, finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, and 11 assists.