BOCAUE, Bulacan: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel survived a major scare late in the game and beat Meralco, 101-96, in the winner-take-all Game 7 to defend its Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup crown in front of the record 54,086 crowd on Friday here at the Philippine Arena.
The Gin Kings needed a crucial offensive rebound from Japeth Aguilar in the final minute after the Bolts threatened at 96-100 on Jared Dillinger’s three-pointer with 46 seconds remaining.
LA Tenorio, who was named the Finals Most Valuable Player, missed on his three-point attempt in the next Ginebra possession but Aguilar collared the most important rebound of the game, leading to the split of Tenorio, 101-96, 22.6 ticks left.
Meralco came up empty in the next play and settled for another runner-up finish to the same team this season.
“To be able to do it in front of more 50,000 fans, that was amazing. We’re so pumped up and the crowd gave us the chance to win,” said Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone, who bagged his 20th PBA title.
Tenorio led Ginebra with 26 points highlighted by five triples while Justin Brownlee added 23 for the Kings, who won their 10th crown and second straight Governors’ Cup diadem.
Allen Durham led Meralco with 26 points, 24 rebounds and nine assists, and together with Anjo Carem and Dillinger rallied their team back from a double-digit deficit but lacked time to complete the comeback.
Narvasa approves revised Kia-SMB deal
After a pair of revisions, PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa finally approved the controversial Kia-San Miguel Beer trade that involved the Picanto’s No. 1 pick in the coming Rookie Draft.
Narvasa gave the go signal to the deal where the Beermen will acquire Kia’s top pick, which could be Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger, while the Picanto will hand over veteran players Jay-R Reyes and Ronald Tubid, seldom-used Rashawn McCarthy and San Miguel’s 2019 first round pick.
Tubid was the late addition to the deal as Keith Agovida was originally included but Narvasa said no and gave the Beermen one hour to revise the deal.
That’s when Robert Non, San Miguel’s top official, informed Narvasa that Tubid would be part of the deal.
“Jay-R (Reyes) is okay because they (Picanto) need a veteran big man. Why McCarthy? They said they need a point guard who knows to guard someone like Chris Ross. I didn’t allow Agovida in the trade because he already came from Kia before so I told them to choose a veteran and they said they need a shooter,” said Narvasa.
“(Ronald) Tubid is okay after I heard it from Kia although San Miguel Beer was still resisting not to include him in the deal. So, I told them (San Miguel Beer) if they did not decide in one hour to include Tubid, the deal is off. And after an hour, they called at around 3 p.m. and they accepted it. So, I immediately approved the trade,” he added.
If San Miguel drafts Standhardinger, it will give the Beermen their own Twin Tour with four-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo.
But this has to wait as the Gilas naturalized player is still under contract for six months with the Hong Kong Eastern Lions in the Asean Basketball League, which kicks off on November 17.