Barangay Ginebra hung tough in the face of Meralco's late rally to run away with a 101-96 in Game 7 last night and successfully defend the PBA Governor's Cup title against the same contender on Friday night at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan last night.
What made the win sweeter was that it was fashioned out before an all-time record crowd of 54,086 fans.
After almost blowing a 20-point, second-half lead, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings stood their ground in the fourth period en route to claiming the import-laced conference via 4-3 series win.
Basket to back baskets from Anjo Caram in the last 4:50 allowed the Bolts to come dangerously close.
But, the inside plays of Justin Brownlee and Joe Devance kept Ginebra in the driver's seat.
Ginebra went home safely after Brownlee and Joe Devance connected with back-to-back baskets to put the Gin Kings up, 100-89, with 1:39 to go.
While the Bolts still showed some resistance following Allen Durham’s two free throws to cut the deficit to single digits, they could not sustain their rally.
As Scottie Thompson missed two free throws for Ginebra, Chris Newsome hit a putback to put the Bolts to within seven, 93-100, with 1:12 to go.
Joe Devance bungled another pair of free throws for the Gin Kings, Meralco's Jared Dillinger scored with a booming triple with 47 seconds left to cut Ginebra's lead to four, 100-96.
As the Bolts caught Brownlee with their trapping defense, Japeth Aguilar grabbed a rebound after a miss by Tenorio with 24 seconds left to retain ball possession for the Gin Kings.
Finals MVP LA Tenorio came up with 26 to lead Ginebra.
Brownlee backed him up with 23 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.
Scottie Thompson scored 14 and grabbed nine rebounds while Greg Slaughter had 12. Japeth Aguilar and Joe Devance finished with 10 points apiece.