BARANGAY Ginebra engineered another rout on Wednesday night, beating NorthPort, 132-105, at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum to move one victory away from returning to the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
Justin Brownlee finished with 41 points and 11 rebounds while Japeth Aguilar had a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Gin Kings mirrored their Game Two romp after losing the series opener to the Batang Pier.
Jeff Chan also played big off the bench and finished with 17 points in just 14 minutes for Ginebra, which won two successive championships in the season-ending conference before losing to Magnolia in the semifinals last season.
After a sloppy start to the best-of-five series, the Gin Kings, holding a 2-1 series lead in the semifinals, can finish off the Batang Pier in Game Four on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“I really didn’t expect that,” said Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone. “I didn’t expect us to play so well. We came out and played really well in just about every phase of the game.”
Brownlee, Aguilar, and Chan sparked an 8-0 run that brought the Gin Kings’ lead to 53-40, in the second quarter which was also capped by six straight points for a 64-48 halftime gap.
Ginebra also began the third with an 18-6 spark to continue the Game Three rout where the Gin Kings led by as many as 32 points.
The rout came after Ginebra was only up by five, 36-31, after Michael Qualls began with 11 points in the first quarter.
“I thought we were in trouble early because Michael Qualls was out of this world. He was in another planet in the beginning of the basketball game. But we wear them down with our depth,” said Cone.
Qualls finished with 32 points, while Christian Standhardinger had 20 points for NorthPort, which is now on the ropes following back-to-back lopsided defeats. The Batang Pier won their fifth straight match in Game One, 124-90.
Barangay Ginebra 132 – Brownlee 41, J. Aguilar 18, Chan 17, Pringle 14, Tenorio 11, Teodoro 8, Thompson 6, Mariano 6, R. Aguilar 5, Slaughter 4, Dillinger 2, Sargent 0, Caperal 0.
NorthPort 105 – Qualls 32, Standhardinger 20, Taha 15, Anthony 14, Lanete 8, Elorde 7, Cruz 5, King 2, Escoto 2.
Quarters: 36-31; 64-48; 100-72; 132-105.