JUSTIN BROWNLEE was back in his element to lead Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to a 99-93 win over Meralco on Friday to level the best-of-seven championship series for Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
After a disappointing 91-104 loss in Game 1 last Wednesday, the Gin Kings went to work early and held a 58-40 cushion approaching the halftime break.
The Bolts unleashed a second half surge but the Gin Kings stopped every one of them to level the series at 1-1.
Brownlee improved on his 7 of 20 shooting in Game 1 that netted him 27 points by making 12 of his 18 attempts to tally 36 points in Game 2. He also had 13 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks on Friday night.
“It was more of mental adjustments. We came out with a little bit more fire and purpose,” Ginebra head coach Tim Cone said. “We really focused on the little things.
Meralco threatened at 91-94 late in the game but Brownlee stole off Chris Banchero with 1:22 left and scored on a dunk give Ginebra a 96-91 lead.
He nailed three more free throws in the stretch to ice the win.
Scottie Thompson added 16 points and 12 rebounds while Christian Standhardinger had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Ginebra. LA Tenorio finished with 13 points also for the Gin Kings.
Tony Bishop scored 31 points and collared 13 rebounds for the Bolts.
Allein Maliksi, who led Meralco with 22 points in Game 1, missed all his seven attempts in Game 2 and went scoreless.
Game 3 is set Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.