We expected the Ginebra versus Meralco series to be a slobber knocker and Game 4 lived up to its hype. Whether you are a Ginebra fan or a Meralco fan, you just can’t help but be amazed at all the punishment they exalted against each other.
And everything was cool… up until the finish.
So with about fifty seconds left, Allen Durham nails a basket from a great Reynel Hugnatan assist. This puts the Bolts up, 85 to 83. And then Justin Brownlee gives the ball up to an open Solomon Mercado, who botches the triple. Scottie Thompson was able to grab the offensive board but Brownlee fails to hit his three-point attempt. Newsome gives the ball to a charging Baser Amer who gives a crosscourt pass to Jared Dillinger… who fails to hit the gimme because Mercado successfully swats the shot. The Sol Train fell hard but Japeth Aguilar secures the possession. With less than 15 seconds remaining…
Thompson receives the Japeth outlet… and gives it back to Japeth who fumbles the ball… then gives it back to Thompson who looked for Joe Devance…
And Devance just thought of shaking the ball for nearly two seconds before giving Brownlee the buzzer beater to tie the game… but failed.
What the hell.
It’s a choke.
Sorry Gin fans, it’s a choke.
They have two timeouts left and after the game you can see LA Tenorio standing up with the timeout signal.
The Kings have two timeouts left.
Prior to the end, the game had a lot of stories. Allen Durham and Brownlee nuking each other, Hugnatan repeating his outside onslaught, Japeth Aguilar unleashing a bunch of slams, Newsome and Amer finally unleashing damage, and of course… Jayjay Helterbrand and Mark Caguioa turning back the clock.
I guess this is why I hated this loss. Caguioa in particular gave the Kings the never say die spirit they were struggling to unleash. With Greg Slaughter slowing down the tempo, Tim Cone dispatched the two veterans to ignite a serious uprising. The ploy worked. From a double-digit disadvantage, Ginebra caught Meralco in striking distance.
But as mentioned… for naught.
With the series tied, I guess all I want Ginebra to do is to properly make the decisions. If they have no idea how to create a shot, then that’s the time re-insert Slaughter and Tenorio.
I mean… oh man, Tim Cone didn’t just saw that play unfold wrongly… with hopes of a lopsided Game 5 in favour of Ginebra on Sunday.