In a best-of-7 series of games, one of the worst positions a team can be in is if their opponents have won three matches in the series while they only have a single (or no) victory. The 3-1 or 3-0 deficit is especially grueling for the lopsided team because they would be spurred to intensify their game to catch up, thus sapping them gradually of strength in the act of equalizing for a decisive Game 7. The Meralco Bolts now find themselves in this unenviable position following Game 4 of the 2019 PBA Governor’s Cup Finals, with the Barangay Ginebra one win away from triumph.
CNN Philippines reports that the Barangay Ginebra team is now on the verge of walking away with the Governor’s Cup championship for the 2019 PBA season. This was in the wake of the fourth Game in the best-of-seven series that was held once more at the Smart Araneta Coliseum this Wednesday, January 15. While originally looking like a back-an-forth between them and the Meralco Bolts due to their alternating victories, this time the Gin Kings under Tim Cone are flexing their true basketball prowess by bulldozing through Norman Black’s boys with a 94-72 final score.
The first quarter of the game was a hotly-contested period that ended in a 14-all tie. Come Q2 however, Ginebra suddenly put on a point surge to take the lead with 15 of them from Justin Brownlee. He would score a total of 27 for the game, helping to keep the Barangay’s advantage over the suddenly struggling Bolts with the help of Stanley Pringle and his own 21 contribution. In a way it was a refutation from Brownlee against his opposite number, Meralco import Allen Durham, who managed only 21 for his squad not long after being chosen to receive the Gatorade Best Import award.
It was somehow to be expected that the Meralco Bolts would falter, seeing as their Game 3 loss to the Barangay Ginebra was also compounded by the on-court injury of Raymond Almazan. While he was pronounced fit to help out in Game 4 this Wednesday, it was clear that he was favoring his leg and could only muster 12 points, the same with Chris Newsome. All in all the Bolts players were outscored by the Barangay. As their head coach Tim Cone puts it, their strategy to break down the other team’s offensive capabilities paid off, particularly in hobbling Durham.
Now, the PBA 2019 Governor’s Cup Finals will go to crunch time with Game 5 this coming Friday, January 17. With the series set to conclude – and Ginebra intends it for the next one – the contest is moving to the SM Mall of Asia. Should Meralco recover from its slump, then the last games will be at the Philippine Arena.
Image courtesy of Inquirer Sports