BARANGAY Ginebra stayed in the race for quarterfinal seats after beating Magnolia, 104-84, on Sunday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Justin Brownlee erupted for 35 points for the Kings, who picked up their second straight win and climbed to ninth spot with a 3-5 win-loss record - just half-a-game behind Columbian in the ace for the final berth in the quarterfinals.
The struggling Hotshots slipped to 4-5.
The Kings closed the third quarter with an 11-2 run behind three-pointers by Brownlee and LA Tenorio to pull away, 79-65. Six straight points by Brownlee widened the gap to 88-70 lead early in the final quarter.
“Not here very often these days … Good to be in here once,” a smiling Cone said upon entering the press room, relieved to see Ginebra play well in what he considered a do-or-die game.
“We picked tonight to play our best game of the conference. We are getting a little bit more comfortable to where we were with Justin. I think we are feeling a lot better,” Cone said.
Tenorio compiled 22 points, six rebounds, and five assists, while Greg Slaughter got a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Kings, who also got 11 points from Japeth Aguilar.
Justin Jackson had 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Hotshots including highlight dunks against Slaughter and Aguilar in a desperate bid to fire up the team.
The last time Magnolia had the lead was at 55-54 before Brownlee and Tenorio took over the game. Ginebra proceeded to outscore the Hotshots, 35-21, in the third quarter.
Ginebra 104 – Brownlee 35, Tenorio 22, Slaughter 12, J. Aguilar 11, Thompson 8, Ferrer 6, Mercado 4, Devance 4, Manuel 2, Taha 0, Caperal 0, Caguioa 0, R. Aguilar 0, Cruz 0.
Magnolia 84 – Jackson 21, Jalalon 17, Lee 16, Barroca 13, Brondial 6, Dela Rosa 4, Melton 3, Reavis 2, Pascual 2, Herndon 0, Ramos 0.
Quarters: 25-17; 44-44; 79-65; 104-84.