BIÑAN, Laguna - Greed was good for Barangay Ginebra as it walloped Blackwater, 96-82, on Friday night to move closer to securing a twice-to-beat advantage in the first round of the playoffs of the PBA Commissioner's Cup.
Already assured of a Top Six finish, the Gin Kings set their sights on one of the top two spots that come with the incentive in the quarterfinals, and they solidified their chances by erasing a third-quarter deficit before pulling away in the payoff period.
Justin Brownlee delivered as usual, leading the breakaway for the Gin Kings, who registered their seventh win in nin games to grab solo second spot behind Star.
The Gin Kings also officially eliminated the Elite from contention as their victims absorbed their eighth loss in 10 games.
"We were like a diesel engine; it took a while to get started," Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said.
The Gin Kings saw themselves stuck in a see-saw battle against the Elite, whose posteason chances were hanging by a thread, even going down, 47-55, early in the third quarter before, turning the game around.
Brownlee and LA Tenorio combined for 18 points in the final period to nearly eclipse the Elite's entire production in the quarter of 20 points.
The duo highlighted their team-up in a play where Tenorio stole the ball then located Brownlee, who threw down a slam on the break that put the Gin Kings up, 77-67.
Brownlee ended up with 35 points, 14 boards, five assists, one steal, and one block in 40 minutes, while Tenorio added 17 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in 39 minutes.
Mark Caguioa also provided a spark, scoring all but two of his eight points in the final frame, including a teardrop that capped a 10-0 blast and gave the Gin Kings a 79-67 lead.
Greg Smith led the Elite with 37 points and 19 boards that went for naught.
GINEBRA 96 - Brownlee 35, Tenorio 17, Aguilar 15, Mercado 9, Caguioa 8, Mariano 5, Marcelo 3, Taha 2, Cruz 2, Ferrer 0, Thompson 0, Ellis 0
BLACKWATER 82 - Smith 37, Digregorio 18, Pinto 7, Pascual 5, Buenafe 4, Sena 4, Cruz 2, Gamalinda 2, Aguilar 2, Cervantes 1, Perez 0, Canaleta 0, Banal 0, Sumang 0
Quarterscores: 22-23, 43-43, 65-62, 96-82.