BARANGAY Ginebra’s shooting against Globalport turned as hot as the tempers of their best two playmakers as the Gin Kings coasted to a 96-85 win on Tuesday night to advance to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals.
Justin Brownlee typified the hot shooting, knocking down seven triples on the way to a game-high 39 points to lead the Gin Kings in a quarterfinal matchup marred by a dust-up between LA Tenorio and Terrence Romeo, who was eventually ejected.
Japeth Aguilar anchored the Gin Kings’ defense, tallying 21 points, eight boards, three assists, and two blocks in 34 minutes as 6-foot-9 slotman shrugged off a minor injury scare late in the game.
“When Justin is knocking down his shots, that helps a lot, but I thought the defense of Japeth was the key on what we needed in this game,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said.
“I thought we defended really well tonight, especially with Stanley,” he added. “He’s an explosive player and he looked a little worn out tonight. We challenged (Terrence) Romeo to beat our bigs and for moments, he did make big shots and tough shots, but we just kept the defense on him.”
Pringle, coming into the game running second behind Alex Cabagnot in the statistical points standings for the Best Player of the Conference award, contributed 16 points, but took 13 shots to reach his total and committed three turnovers in 38 minutes.
The Gin Kings are set to face the winner of the TNT KaTropa-Meralco best-of-three series where the Texters are ahead, 1-0.
The Gin Kings broke loose from a tight game midway through the third period as they embarked on a back-breaking 20-1 run to extend a 56-50 lead.
Ginebra went on cruise control from there and was up by 16 points with three minutes and 28 seconds when the scuffle involving Romeo and Tenorio happened. After getting entangled in a box-out play, Romeo hit Tenorio in the midsection, causing the latter – although belatedly – to fall in pain.
An exchange of words ensued in an incident that led to Romeo getting called for a flagrant foul 2 and ejected.
Romeo finished with 22 points on 7-of-21 shooting, three boards, two assists, and one steal in 34 minutes, while Justin Harper led the Batang Pier with 29 points and 15 rebounds in 45 minutes.
GINEBRA 96 –Brownlee 39, Aguilar 21, Tenorio 12, Thompson 11, Devance 4, Ferrer 3, Mariano 2, Ellis 2, Caguioa 2, Mercado 0, Marcelo 0, Helterbrand 0
GLOBALPORT 85 – Harper 29, Romeo 22, Pringle 16, Anthony 5, Cortez 5, Guinto 3, Ababou 3, Mamaril 2, Maierhofer 0, Grey 0, Pessumal 0, Pennisi 0
Quarterscores: 26-19, 46-33, 76-56, 96-85