Solomon Mercado led Barangay Ginebra’s fourth quarter rally that resulted in a 107-93 win over Meralco on Saturday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.
Mercado finished with 19 points highlighted by three triples and four assists.
Import Justin Brownlee, who substituted for import Paul Harris, led Barangay Ginebra with 26 points and six assists while Japeth Aguilar contributed 15 points and six rebounds. The Gin Kings’s win-loss record improved to 3-1 after the victory.
Veteran Mark Caguioa scored 13 points, while Joe Devance and guard LA Tenorio had nine points each also for the Gin Kings.
Barangay Ginebra controlled the first quarter with a commanding 32-21 lead. Brownlee and Aguilar posted 14 points and 10 points, respectively for the Gin Kings, in the first half.
Meralco fought back in the second quarter closing the gap, 47-51, at the half.
The Gin Kings remained ahead of the game, 81-71, through Caguioa’s three-point play at the end of third period. Hugnatan, who tallied 15 points in the first three quarters alone, scored a three-point shot to reduce Meralco’s deficit, 87-92, with still four minutes to go in the game.
But Ginebra unleashed a 7-0 rally in the last four minutes highlighted by Mercado’s three-point play resulting in a 102-88 lead in the final twos of the match. From thereon, the Gin Kings were never threatened.
Forward Cliff Hodge led Meralco with 19 points and seven rebounds. Veteran Reynel Hugnatan chipped in 18 points and eight rebounds while import Allen Durham had 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
The Bolts’ win-loss record dropped to 2-2 after absorbing back-to-back losses.
JOSEF T. RAMOS