BARANGAY Ginebra finally showed some semblance of chemistry with its rejigged lineup as it cruised past Star, 107-85, on Tuesday in their last tune-up game before the start of their PBA Governors’ Cup title defense on Sunday.
It was a tight contest – one would expect in an anticipated matchup between SMC sister squads even in the preseason, before the Gin Kings broke away in the second half as they continued to adjust with Greg Slaughter back in the fold.
Justin Brownlee led the attack, firing 11 – all but two from beyond the arc – of his 26 points in the third quarter where the Gin Kings pulled away after a tight first half.
“We did a lot better today than we did in our previous tune-up games,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said. “We played NLEX and Alaska and got kind of beat up by those two guys. Today, we played better.”
Slaughter continued to dust off rust as he scored all 13 in the first three quarters, while Japeth Aguilar and Chris Ellis also scored in twin digits for the Gin Kings, who open their title-retention bid on against Meralco in a finals rematch.
Allein Maliksi led the Hotshots with 16 points, but import Cimeon Bowers put up another so-so showing with just six points on 3-of-11 shooting, five boards, and three turnovers in 25 minutes.
GINEBRA 107 - Brownlee 26, Slaughter 13, Aguilar 12, Ellis 11, Thompson 9, Mariano 8, Tenorio 6, Cruz 5, Taha 4, Jamito 4, Caguioa 4, Helterbrand 3, Mercado 2, Devance 0, Marcelo 0
STAR 85 – Maliksi 16, Sangalang 13, Ramos 12, Reavis 10, Melton 9, Bowers 6, Lee 5, Brondial 4, Mendoza 4, Barroca 2, Javier 2, Abundo 2, Simon 0, De Leon 0, Dela Rosa 0
Quarterscores: 26-18, 53-45, 82-63, 107-85