BARANGAY Ginebra moved a win away from a seat in the semifinals after beating a twice-to-beat TNT side, 104-92, on Wednesday night at the start of the PBA 46th Season Governors’ Cup playoffs at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The sixth-seeded Gin Kings built a 19-point second-quarter lead before hitting crucial threes in the endgame to hold off the third-ranked Tropang GIGA and force a rubber match on Saturday for a spot in the Final Four.
Justin Brownlee scored 38 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a performance highlighted by a key trey with 1:21 lead to pad Ginebra's lead to 100-90 to the cheers of 7,091 fans inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Scottie Thompson also had a double-double with 23 points and 15 rebounds.
Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone said it’s still too early to celebrate since it was the team’s first win against TNT since winning the 2020 Philippine Cup during the Clark bubble.
'Ginebra has our number'
“This is the first time that we beat them in the finals,” said Cone. “They have our number and they have a real, good feel for what we like to do. Chot Reyes always has a good feel for what I like to do. He’s always been a tough strategist.”
Japeth Aguilar tallied 21 points and was active on offense from the get go, scoring 11 points in the first quarter that also allowed Ginebra to take a 28-14 lead which eventually ballooned to 40-21 in the second.
The Gin Kings almost blew the lead and found themselves leading by only a point, 71-70, at the end of the third but Nards Pinto and Brownlee drained back-to-back threes to increase the lead to 82-75 with 8:30 left in the contest.
Thompson also drilled a three after Ginebra’s lead went down to four before that Brownlee clincher.
Aaron Fuller led TNT with 22 points and 19 rebounds and Troy Rosario added 20 points. Mikey Williams added 19 points including a tough fadeaway three-pointer to beat the buzzer that cut the deficit to one point at the end of the third.
Williams even tied the game to start the fourth quarter before Ginebra regained its bearings in the endgame.
Barangay Ginebra 104 – Brownlee 38, Thompson 23, J. Aguilar 21, Tenorio 7, Pinto 6, Standhardinger 6, Chan 3, Caperal 0, Onwubere 0, Devance 0.
TNT 92 – Fuller 22, Rosario 20, M. Williams 19, Pogoy 12, K. Williams 12, Castro 5, Reyes 2, Erram 0, Khobuntin 0, Heruela 0, Montalbo 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.
Quarters: 28-14; 50-45; 71-70; 104-92.
We are now on Quento! Download the app to enjoy more articles and videos from SPIN.ph and other Summit Media websites.