The Meralco Bolts came out victorious in a wild Game Four finish against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 85-83, to tie the Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup finals at 2-all on Friday night at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Allen Durham finished with 28 points, including the game-winning layup, and 18 rebounds as Chris Newsome added 18 points, 11 rebounds and four assists to lead the Bolts who escaped with the close win after Ginebra failed to call a timeout in the game’s last possession.
Down by just two, the Gin Kings had a chance to force overtime or snatch the win with 16 seconds left, gaining the possession following a huge chasedown block by Sol Mercado on Jared Dillinger.
But the Gin Kings decided not to call for time as they struggled to execute. Justin Brownlee tried to deliver another heroic shot, but he missed his jumper and attempted putback as time expired.
After Meralco held a 13-point lead in the third quarter, the Gin Kings rallied to take an 81-78 lead thanks to an alley-oop jam and one by Japeth Aguilar with 1:54 left.
But Durham made a quick layup on the other end. Baser Amer followed that up with a booming triple to give the lead back to Meralco.
Brownlee sank two cold-blooded free throws to tie things up at 83-all, before Durham scored a clutch layup with 47 seconds left that eventually handed Meralco the win.
Brownlee tallied 34 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for Ginebra which has now lost two straight games in the series.
Down to a best-of-three affair, the finals series will head to Philippine Arena in Bulacan starting in Game Five on Sunday.
MERALCO 85 – Durham 28, Newsome 18, Hugnatan 14, Amer 11, Hodge 7, Dillinger 2, Caram 2, Faundo 2, Lanete 1, Tolomia 0.
GINEBRA 83 – Brownlee 34, Devance 15, Caguioa 8, Aguilar 7, Slaughter 6, Cruz 4, Thompson 4, Ferrer 3, Helterbrand 2, Tenorio 0, Mercado 0.
Quarters: 17-17, 41-40, 68-63, 85-83.