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Durham takes over in OT as Bolts shock Gins in Govs Cup Finals opener

Meralco import Allen Durham drives into Ginebra counterpart Justin Brownlee in this piece of Game 1 action (Photo by PBA Media Bureau)
By Ricky Manliguis

QUEZON CITY--In the end, Meralco found a hero in Allen Durham.

Durham brought the Bolts on his broad shoulders in overtime as it stunned Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 114-109, to take Game one of the Oppo-PBA Governors’ Cup Finals at the Araneta Coliseum Friday night.

 The leading candidate for the Best Import Award, the six-foot-five reinforcement poured out seven straight points to open the extra session, including a cold-blooded triple with 3:01 left before, assisting Cliff Hodge on another triple for a 112-108 buffer for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven affair.

Jimmy Alapag fired a triple to give Meralco a 101-100 lead with only 33.4 seconds left in regulation, only for LA Tenorio to convert on a floater that knotted the count at 102-all. 

Then, it was an all-Durham show in OT.   

Starting out slow, the Bolts found themselves trailing by 11, 53-42, at the half as Ginebra poured on its offensive firepower led by Tenorio, who scored 20 in the first 24 minutes of action.

 Meralco then woke up in the second half, igniting a 33-27 third quarter assault to bring the deficit to just five, 75-80, heading into the pulsating final frame.

The former Grace Bible College standout finished with a game-high 46 points on top of 13 rebounds and seven assists on 16-of-25 from the field. Rookie swingman Chris Newsome added a near triple-double effort of 17 points, nine boards and nine assists.

Forward Reynel Hugnatan also had decent numbers with 15 markers, while Alapag cashed in 13, his last triple tying Allan Caidic’s record for most three-pointers made.

It was a rather sorry loss for Ginebra, as Tenorio fired his career-best 36 points on a torrid 14-of-23 field goal shooting. He also issued three assists.

But the crowd darlings got little support from import Justin Brownlee, who had a quiet 17 points and eight rebounds on a 7-of-18 clip. Athletic bigman Japeth Aguilar had another so-so performance, finishing with just six markers and 12 rebounds before picking up his sixth foul with still 4:03 left in regulation.

Game Two is set Sunday night still at the Big Dome, right after the awarding ceremonies for the Best Player and Best Import of the Conference.
The Scores:
Meralco 114 – Durham 46, Newsome 17, Hugnatan 15, Alapag 13, Faundo 8, Amer 5, Caram 4, Hodge 4, Buenafe 2, Nabong 0, Uyloan 0
Brgy. Ginebra 109 – Tenorio 36, Brownlee 17, Caguioa 14, Devance 13, Mercado 8, Thompson 8, Aguilar 6, Cruz 5, Marcelo 2, Mariano 0
Quarterscores: 31-28, 42-53, 75-80, 102-102, 114-109 

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