BARANGAY Ginebra rode a huge second quarter to take the fight out of Phoenix, 109-89, and remain on track for a Top 4 spot in the PBA Governors' Cup playoffs.
The Kings held the Fuel Masters to just nine points in the second period while scoring 31 points in the same stretch to turn the match into a full-blown rout.
That buffer was enough for the Kings to take a huge 59-30 lead at the break to notch their third straight win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The defending champion improved to 6-2 and remained in solo third in the standings.
Sophomore Jamie Malonzo sparked the first-half breakaway with nine of his 14 points scored in the second quarter, while Christian Standhardinger already had 17 by the half after pouring 15 in the first period.
The Fil-German big man finished with a near triple-double of 28 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists.
“With Japeth out, he’s getting the heavier minutes, and we have to go to him,” said Cone of Standhardinger. “And he’s responding big time.”
This was a rare night when import Justin Brownlee didn’t carry much of the load for Ginebra, which went to its bench for the needed scoring.
Von Pessumal finished with 14 points and rookie Jeremiah Gray had a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds, to go with Brownlee’s 18-11-6 statline.
The loss snapped Phoenix’s two-game winning streak and kept them from clinching the remaining berth in the quarterfinals with its 4-6 record.
Import Du’vaughn Maxwell had 22 points to lead the Fuel Masters.
Ginebra (109) - Standhardinger 28, Brownlee 18, Thompson 16, Malonzo 14, Pessumal 14, Gray 11, Pringle 3, Onwubere 3, Pinto 2, Dillinger 0, R.Aguilar 0, David 0, Mariano 0.
Phoenix (89) - Maxwell 22, Manganti 15, Mocon 11, Serrano 9, Tio 9, Garcia 6, Perkins 5, Muyang 4, Camacho 2, Adamos 2, Alejandro 2, Jazul 2, Go 0, Lojera 0, Lalata 0.
Quarterscores: 28-21; 59-30; 85-69; 109-89.