WHAT was expected to be a battle of deliberate basketball turned into a shootout as Barangay Ginebra outdueled TNT Katropa, 107-89, to sustain its momentum in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday night.
LA Tenorio typified the Gin Kings’ hot shooting in the payoff period where they bombarded the Texters with a barrage of treys to cap off their second-half turnaround.
Tenorio knocked down five triples, while Justin Brownlee added four treys as the Gin Kings knocked down 12 of their 31 attempts from beyond the arc as a unit for 39 percent.
The Gin Kings thus stretched their win streak to four games after starting the conference with a loss while halting the Texters’ own run at five games as they dropped to 5-2.
“We played as well as we could play in the first half and they (Texters) played better,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said. “They were hitting shots that were just unbelievable against our defense.”
“But in the second half, our defense kind of warmed down a little bit,” the champion coach added as his team outscored the Texters in the second half, 52-28.
. “And we got our offense going, LA and Sol, and Justin got hot down the stretch.”
“But really, I felt it was our defense stand that Japeth made that really changed the game,” he continued. “He was all over the place, he was intimidating.”
Aguilar lived up to his potential as he anchored their defense with five blocks and altering a handful more shots in the second half that highlighted his double-double of 16 points and 14 boards in 35 minutes.
Then Tenorio took over, knocking down four triples and scoring 14 of his 21 points in the fourth, with his last three-pointer giving the Gin Kings their biggest lead at 104-82 with a little over two minutes left.
Justin Brownlee added of eight of his game-high 34 points in the fourth as the Ginebra import completed his all-around effort with 15 boards, six assists, two blocks, and one steal in 40 minutes.
Donte Greene was one of the few Texters who found the mark from long range as he buried four treys on the way to a game-high 28 points along with 15 boards.
GINEBRA 107 – Brownlee 34, Tenorio 21, Aguilar 16, Devance 8, Thompson 7, Mercado 7, Ellis 7, Caguioa 4, Marcelo 3, Taha 0, Ferrer 0
TNT 89 – Greene 28, Castro 20, De Ocampo 9, Fonacier 8, Pogoy 6, Williams 5, Reyes 4, Rosales 4, Tautuaa 3, Rosario 2
Quarterscores: 31-32, 55-61, 80-74, 107-89