By Ernesto Nodado III

PHOTO: Inquirer Sports

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel reasserted themselves to reset the series at square one, surviving Meralco Bolts' spirited fightback for a resounding 99-93 victory in Game 2 of the PBA Governor’s Cup Finals in Mall of Asia Arena, Friday evening.

Ginebra held on tight to their lead down the stretch as import Justin Brownlee took over the squad's offensive bearings to halt Meralco's potential comeback.

Brownlee came away with an assist shy triple double of 36 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists, leading the way for a secured finish for Ginebra.

Scottie Thompson also added 16 points and 12 rebounds, pouring hussle efforts for Ginebra for 47 weary minutes.

The win set the best-of-seven series at 1-all after Ginebra recalibrated their gameplay after a defective series opener.

"We just played a little loose in Game 1, we just tightened up a lot of things," Ginebra's coach Tim Cone said in a post-match interview.

Off from a Game 1 setback, Ginebra started slow from the bay, trailing at the end of the opening salvo by three, 20-23.

Ginebra then went explosive in the ensuing 12 minutes, surging to a 40-19 second quarter, powered by Brownlee's 13 markers, to open the floodgates for a commanding 60-42 lead.

However, Aaron Black sizzled in the third canto with 13 of his total 24 points coming in the quarter, propelling the Bolts’ trajectory to stage a comeback, 71-82.

Meralco continued to shave the lead in the fourth frame, with Tony Bishop’s layup trimming the deficit to two points with about four minutes left, 86-88, before Ginebra responded with six unanswered points to widen the gap, 94-86.  

Ginebra averted collapse from Bishop and Chris Banchero's last ditch efforts as Brownlee's steal on Banchero's rebound paved the way for Ginebra’s series-tying ending. 

Bolts import Bishop had a huge outing albeit on a losing stride with a double-double performance of 31 points and 13 rebounds.

Ginebra will attempt to take the series lead in Game 3 on Sunday, at 6:30 pm, in the same venue.