BARANGAY Ginebra is back in the semis of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Kings survived a gallant stand by NorthPort Batang Pier to eke out an inspiring 99-93 victory and advance to the semifinals against sister team Magnolia at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Justin Brownlee finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists in nearly 44 minutes and Scottie Thompson added a near triple-double of 15 points, nine rebounds and nine assists as the Gin Kings finished off the hard-fighting Batang Pier, 2-0, in their best-of-three quarterfinal series.
Veteran LA Tenorio and Jamie Malonzo added 14 points each, Christian Standhardinger contributed 13 points and Stanley Pringle had 10 points for Ginebra.
Tenorio also tied James Yap in fourth spot in the all-time list with 1,178 career triples with his fourth trey of this match,
Jeff Chan carried the fight for NorthPort with 20 points, five rebounds and six assists, followed by Arvin Tolentino and Kevin Ferrer with 18 points.
Robert Bolick added 13 points and William Navarro contributed 10 before limping out with an ankle injury late in the first quarter.
“We have a few days to kinda get over this (quarterfinal matchup with NorthPort) and move on to the next,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone in post-game interview.
“But I’m concerned because we didn’t play that well tonight. We play like that against Magnolia and it’s not gonna be much of a Clasico. We gotta pick it up,” he added.
Ginebra (99) — Brownlee 20, Thompson 15, Tenorio 14, Malonzo 14, Standhardinger 13, Pringle 10, Gray 9, J.Aguilar 4, Mariano 0.
NorthPort ( 93) – Chan 20, Tolentino 18, Ferrer 18, Bolick 13, Navarro 10, Ibeh 7, Sumang 5, Balanza 2, Taha 0, Calma 0, Caperal 0.
Quarterscores: 13-29, 43-47, 72-66, 99-93.