BARANGAY Ginebra regained its groove as it held off Rain or Shine, 89-82, to move closer to a Top Four eliminations finish in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Gin Kings led most of the way, but saw a late stand by the Elasto Painters, before holding on to the win that atoned for a 107-103 loss to San Miguel Beer last Sunday.
Justin Brownlee delivered as usual with 28 points and 10 boards, while LA Tenorio hit the crucial baskets and free throws to bring home the Gin Kings, who notched their eighth win in 10 games to regain solo top spot.
The Gin Kings also derailed the E-Painters’ entry to the playoffs, dealing their victims their fourth loss in nine games.
“It was a grind trying to get that win,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said. “We weren’t happy with our first half play. We came out well prepared in the second half, but it whenever we got a lead, they would come back.”
“It was a big bounce-back game from our San Miguel debacle,” he added.
The Gin Kings led by as many as 16 points midway in the third quarter, but allowed the E-Painters to claw back and pull to within three points, 75-72, after a Jericho Cruz trey with a little less than six minutes to go in the game.
LA Tenorio, though, was his usual steady self in the endgame, scoring six of his 16 points in the payoff period, including a turnaround jumper that gave the Gin Kings an 86-78 lead and appeared to ice the game for the league’s crowd darlings.
Scottie Thompson stuffed the stats sheet again as he finished with 12 points, nine boards, five assists, and one block in 30 minutes to be named the game’s best player.
Raymond Almazan sustained his solid showing with 20 points, eight boards, and one block in 30 minutes to lead the E-Painters in a losing effort.
GINEBRA 89 – Brownlee 28, Tenorio 16, Thompson 12, Slaughter 12, Mercado 9, Devance 7, Ferrer 5, Aguilar 0, Caguioa 0
ROS 82 – Almazan 20, Bullock 15, Cruz 13, Tiu 11, Norwood 9, Belga 6, Matias 3, Belga 3, Yap 2, Ahanmisi 0, Ponferada 0, Trollano 0
Quarterscores: 24-15, 37-32, 65-55, 89-82