Meralco had no plans of partaking in any welcome celebration for Justin Brownlee as it frustrated Ginebra, 93-82, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Brownlee returned for his fourth conference in the PBA but his comeback did not make any immediate positive impact for the Gin Kings, who slipped to a 1-4 record.
The Bolts, for their part, climbed to the third spot with a 4-2 card.
Meralco created space in the third going on a 13-6 run across the middle quarters with Arinze Onuaku’s two-hander giving the Bolts a 54-45 lead.
Onuaku then gave the Bolts their biggest margin of the game hitting a three-point shot with six seconds left in the third for Meralco’s 73-56 lead.
“We should not be part of the welcoming party,” said Bolts head coach Norman Black laughing. “Brownlee is a really good player and he’s proven it in the past that it’s very difficult to deal with him on the court.”
“It’s a big win for us because it leans us a little bit more towards the top and keeps us away from the bottom.”
Onuaku finished with a game-high 24 points while also grabbing 23 rebounds to lead the Bolts while Chris Newsome added 22 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
Jared Dillinger also finished in double digits with 13 points while Anjo Caram orchestrated the Bolts’ offense with 12 points and seven dimes.
Brownlee had 20 points, 16 rebounds, and 12 assists in his return to the Gin Kings while Japeth Aguilar added 13 points and six boards.
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