Allen Durham, Norman Black get 3rd shot at Justin Brownlee, Tim Cone

The Meralco Bolts and the Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings will square off for the Governors’ Cup crown for the third time in the last four seasons.

The Tim Cone mentored-squad captured the 2016 edition, 4-2, which ultimately ended the 8-year title drought of the crowd darlings. Justin Brownlee drained the game-winning triple to cap off his very memorable maiden stint in the PBA.

The two teams would go at it again the following season with the Finals series reaching the distance this time. The Gin Kings took the first two games while the Bolts rebounded by grabbing the next two. The defending champs moved one win away from the title by winning Game 5 but Norman Black and his squad wouldn’t go down without a fight and forced a winner-take-all match on a night which broke the league record for crowd attendance of 52,612 which was set during the opening game of the 40th season.

53,642 fans came to watch the Gin Kings take the first crack at the 2017 Governors’ Cup title but the Bolts would have none of it and a Game 7 was needed to settle the issue.

Just two days after the record-setting game, an unbelievable number of 54,086 fans trooped to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan to witness the penultimate game which climaxed with the Gin Kings successfully defending the title.

The quest for a three-peat, however, was stopped on its tracks the following year by Manila Clasico rival Magnolia after the Hotshots dethroned the Gin Kings in the semifinal round of the season-ending conference to the tune of 3-1.

Fast forward to the 2019 edition and the defending champs would fall in the quarterfinal round courtesy of TNT. The KaTropa’s surge, however, didn’t last long as the flagship team of the MVP group similarly failed to advance thanks to the inspired play of Allen Durham and the rest of the rejigged Bolts.

And along with the Gin Kings’ conquest of upset-conscious NorthPort in the other semis bracket, the stage has been set for the Trilogy.

It’s Brownlee vs Durham, Cone vs Black, Brgy. Ginebra vs Meralco for the third time in the Finals of the Governors’ Cup!

Game 1 of the heavily-anticipated best-of-seven series will be on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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