Because of these things, the series is tied at 2-2 instead of Ginebra holding a 3-1 leading heading into Game 5
For the second straight game, Ginebra failed to utilize their height advantage. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Despite another 34-point performance from Justin Brownlee, despite the fact that we got to see the Fast and the Furious in action, and despite the vociferously deafening "GI-NE-BRA!" chants by the Ginebra faithfuls that this basketball pundit on wheels endured, those things weren't enough as the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings suffered yet another stunning 85-83 defeat at the hands of the Meralco Bolts in last night's Game 4 which knotted the series at 2-2.
However, we must remember that the game wasn't won until the final buzzer when Ginebra took 4 shots right after Allen Durham made a lay-up to give the Bolts the lead. 4 shots. 4 attempts. 0 makes.
Even Coach Tim Cone admitted that even if one of his players was able to call a timeout before the last possession, he doubted that it could affect the outcome, stating that calling a timeout will also enable Meralco to make some adjustments. So, the players made the call. Justin Brownlee attempted a floater to force an extra period and he missed. Ouch!
Justin Brownlee may have scored 34 points while making half of his 24 field goal attempts but he had 5 turnovers and had 5 personal fouls. Joe Devance broke out of his shooting slump to score 15 points but fouled out late.
There were many things that went horribly wrong for Ginebra in Game 4 so allow this basketball pundit on wheels to list down 3 things which basically denied the Gin Kings to celebrate tomorrow at the Philippine Arena- should they win Game 5:
4 Points Combined from Tenorio, Thompson and Mercado
One reason why the defending champions struggled and eventually lost Game 4 was the fact none of their guards were shooting and scoring well.
Scottie Thompson scored 4 points on 2 of 5 field goal shooting. LA Tenorio, the hero of Game 2, was pointless, literally as he missed all of his 7 attempts although he did have 6 assists and a steal. Sol Mercado, who gurt hurt late in the dying moments of the game, was scoreless too. He is likely to miss tomorrow's Game 5 which means the rest of the Ginebra guards needed to make sure that their presence will be felt offensively.
14 Missed from Deep
If anything, Game 4 a reversal of roles. Why? In the first two games of the best-of-7 series, it was the Meralco Bolts who were shooting bricks from outside.
In Games 3 and 4, it was Ginebra who was shooting bricks. Horribly.
In Game 4 alone, the Gin Kings have attempted 22 shots from the 3-point line and they missed a total of 14. Only Justin Brownlee (4 of 8) and Joe Devance (3 of 5) had respectable shooting performance from long distance as they were the only ones who scored in double figures in the first place.
17 Offensive Rebounds for the Bolts
This is another one of those nagging ironies of Game 4. The entire Meralco team out-muscled the much-taller Gin Kings on the offensive boards as evident by their 17-12 advantage in that category. Allen Durham, who top-scored for Meralco with his 28 points, grabbed 18 rebounds- 7 on the offensive end. The result: the Bolts also took a 13-9 advantage on second-chance points.
Assuming that Ginebra did get the timeout on the last possession of Game 4, it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Sure, they made 43% of their atempts last night but failed to make even one of those 4 attempts in the 40 seconds of the game. Just one make to force an overtime. A 3 to win. Unfortunately, Ginebra faltered. Ginebra missed. And, Ginebra lost. Again.