Perez CJ Perez of San Miguel Beer takes a shot. PBA photo

Game 1 to Kings

March 26, 2023 Robert Andaya 258 views

BARANGAY Ginebra blew a 20-point lead but recovered in time to roll back San Miguel Beer, 121-112, and draw first blood in their semifinals encounter in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Christian Standhardinger, Jamie Malonzo and Justin Brownlee combined for 84 points for the Gin Kings, who needed a strong finish to survive the Beermen’s furious fourth-quarter comeback.

Standhardinger finished with a game-high 33 points on 13-of-19 shooting, while adding 10 rebounds and five assists in 43 minutes of action.

Equally impressive were Malonzo, who added 27 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Brownlee, who contributed 24 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Gin Kings of coach Tim Cone.

Scottie Thompson also had a strong all-around game with 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Cameron Clark tallied 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting and nine rebounds in 43 minutes in a losing effort for San Miguel.

CJ Perez had 23 points and seven rebounds and Marcio Lassiter added 20 points the Jorge Gallent-mentored Beermen.

The presence of Ginebra guard LA Tenorio also served as inspiration for the Gin Kings.

Tenorio, who was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, showed up and offered words of encouragement to his team from the sidelines.

“It’s a great honor that he (Tenorio) is with us and doing things he wants to do while he’s doing the things he needs to do,” said Cone, referring to Tenorio in the opener of the scheduled best-of five series.

“So I feel honored that he’s spending this time with us. He is so valuable, he’s a leader and he’s been our leader in the time that I’ve been here and even when I was still with Alaska. I just find it really selfless on his part to be here and I think the whole team feels that,”added Cone.

Ginebra was actually ahead, 92-72. after a Brownlee layup with 1:44 left in the third quarter.

The Gin Kings were still in control, leading 95-80 after three quarters.

But San Miguel went on a crippling 15-0 run anchored on Perez, Vic Manuel and Jericho Cruz to tie the score at 95-all.

Ginebra, however, was not to be denied.

Malonzo and Standhardinger countered with seven straight points for Ginebra to regain control, 102-95.

The Kings never relinquished the lead from there.

The scores:

Ginebra (121) — Standhardinger 33, Malonzo 27, Brownlee 24, Thompson 15, Gray 12, Pringle 7, Pinto 3, Pessumal 0
San Miguel (112) — Clark 26, Perez 23, Lassiter 20, Cruz 13, Tautuaa 11, Manuel 10, Bulanadi 3, Enciso 3, Herndon 3, Brondial 0, Ross 0.
Quarterscores: 25-22, 62-47, 95-80, 121-112.