PBA Livestream: Barangay Ginebra vs Meralco-Finals Game 1

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the Meralco Bolts begin their quest for championship glory as the best-of-seven Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup finals series tip off on Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Game One is scheduled at 7 p.m. live on TV5.

Both the Gin Kings and the Bolts are, in no doubt, out to draw first blood in the series as they both seek to end their respective title droughts.

Ginebra is appearing in its first finals in three years, hoping to finally win a championship that its diehard fans have been longing for since 2008 when the Gin Kings last won a crown.

Meralco on the other hand is aiming to make its first-ever finals stint memorable by beating the Gin Kings, no less.

Ginebra prevailed in its elimination round encounter against Meralco, 107-93, on July 30 in one of its wins that propelled the crowd favorites to the No.3 spot at the end of the elimination round.

The Gin Kings had to overcome a gruelling obstacle of beating Alaska in the quarterfinals and San Miguel in a hard-fought Game Five of the semifinals in order to advance to the title round.

The Bolts settled just a notch lower at No.4 and needed to dispatch Mahindra in the first round and stun No.1 seed TNT in four games during the final four to reach the finals.

Both teams have plenty of weapons to rely on, starting with their veteran tacticians in Bolts coach Norman Black and Gin Kings coach Tim Cone who are both owners of PBA Grand Slams. Black completed one during his time with San Miguel in 1989, while Cone clinched two with Alaska in 1996 and San Mig Coffee in 2014.

Ginebra’s deadly three-guard lineup featuring LA Tenorio, Sol Mercado and Scottie Thompson will be put to test against Meralco’s tough backcourt comprised of Jimmy Alapag, Baser Amer and Chris Newsome.

High-flying Gin Kings forward Japeth Aguilar will also test his wares against his energetic Bolts counterpart Cliff Hodge.

The finals also set the stage for a showdown between Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee and Meralco’s Allen Durham who are both in a tug-of-war for the Best Import plum.